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The Standard

Mfat’s cuts cost $9.2m

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, March 29th, 2012 - 20 comments
Categories: International - Tags: , ,

Mfat is spending $9.2m a year on 30 strong razor gang cut diplomat jobs ($300K per razor gang member). It’s a ludicrous waste of money. As Goff notes – McCully’s splurging on ‘back office’ contractors in the razor gang to cut the ‘frontline’. 49 of 53 heads of mission have written to McCully say this process is destructive and dangerous.

McCully is now back-pedaling from the cuts, which raises the question of whether the cuts will cost more than they save. All McCully can do is blame the ‘star’ private sector head of Mfat he appointed.

Update: McCully has just said on RNZ that he believes that a “change manager” is probably paid “far too much” and continued to blame John Allen. If that’s true, why does he continue to employ Allen as Mfat secretary?

20 comments on “Mfat’s cuts cost $9.2m”

  1. Tc 1

    Blaming John Allen is like blaming your Gardner for plumbing issues, these good old boys know how to network but couldn’t think their way through issues that require an eye for detail, actually understanding how stuff operates and decision making qualities.

    Allen is a puppet manager…a perfect Nat good old boy. You can see theres no recession for the Nats highly paid consultants though, of which there are many.

    • Kevin Welsh 1.1

      I worked for a company in Napier who decided to bring John Allen to town to be a guest speaker. We were told what a dynamic game-changer he was and was one of the rising starts in Corporate NZ. At the time he was the head honcho at NZPost.

      Anyway, being one of the plebs, I was not privvy to the keynote speach but had the job of transferring the video to DVD.

      What a twat.

      He waved his arms a lot and laughed and spoke fast, but in the end it was the same ole regurgitated shit you get from these people.

      • tc 1.1.1

        Was a reasonable trial barrister apparently so has that sense of the dramatic in appealing to the court….please have mercy on me murray, I was only following your ill concieved slogan driven intrsuctions.

        Agree KH having sat through one of his performances…..he got asked a few questions and answered with slogans rather than pertinent responses which didn’t come as any surprise.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          These messiahs used to flog off holy water and everlasting life. CEO pays better

          • Draco T Bastard

            And is less risky as they get paid no matter what they do and they don’t end up having people chasing them with pitchforks.

  2. DH 2

    So that’s $300k for each of the gang. Isn’t it funny how there’s always an endless supply of consultants out there who are more expert than the people who actually do the job for a living.

  3. vto 3

    McCully clearly doesn’t want to be responsible for things.

    Therefore he should remove himself from all roles where he is supposed to have responsibility.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.1

      At the very least his remuneration package should be adjusted to reflect the responsibilities of the role he thinks he has.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Can’t remember a NACT minister that wanted, or showed, responsibility for what they’ve done.

  4. Johnny 4

    $9.2 million in 2011/12 plus the millions they spent in 2010/11. See table for examples like $380,000 for offhshoring advice contract. $213,000 for outsourcing advice contract. 100s of 1000s on change management advice contracts.


  5. marsman 5

    So sad that a wonderful country like NZ is being run by arseholes who refuse to take responsibility for the damage they do.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    This Mfat debacle resembles the old “had to destroy the village in order to save it” scenario

  7. Apparently we want a seat on the United Nations Security Council. And here we are by closing and/or reducing diplomatic missions, we are effectively saying to the world, “we don’t believe diplomatic relations with the world are necessary for us to be a United Nations Security Council seat holder”.

    If that is the way the NZ Government thinks, then we don’t deserve that seat.

    • bbfloyd 7.1

      so i am justified in thinking that all this idiocy, and profligate waste, and corruption is no more than freeing up funds for a publicity campaign on behalf of a publicity stunt?

      the idea that new zealand would ever be taken seriously as a contender for the security council would be delusional, at best…. more likely this is just “cycleway” the sequel…… with a more dynamic storyline, and better special effects….

    • Mike Simons 7.2

      I totally agree. How can NZ serve on the UNSC if it is so short of staff (and even if they hire more, the loss of corporate/ diplomatic knowledge). This whole reform of MFAT is an abortion.

  8. MFAT is a bloody good number. Not many can get there – very protected and great living for a number (and their families) at the sharper end. Good Life.

    • bbfloyd 8.1

      good point… why should it be attractive to be a diplomat? they should be doing it for the glory of the motherland!!….. considerations of monetary security, or creature comforts should be beneath them…..

    • N McRoberts 8.2

      Yeah, “bloody good number”. A “bloody good number I hear are are leaving”

      And how is MFAT protected?, especially if they are to lose a quarter of all their staff?

      I have two friends in MFAT. They both work hard and are well educated (multilingual and post grad degrees). They plan to leave and are looking at opportunities off shore. I am supporting them in the move. The public service from what I have seen is a thankless service. NZers have had it good for too long. Time to wake up. The back office is the front office.

      We will lose their trade negotiating/ promoting talent and slip more quickly into the third world.
      Well done McCully. 9.5 million so far… how much more to fix this mess?

  9. bbfloyd 9

    in fact…. senior politicians should also be subject to this regime…. only those with true devotion to the health, and wellbeing of the greater society should be allowed to represent…..

    this should restrict the numbers of lawyers, bankers, and accountants eligible to serve…..

  10. Johnny 10

    Hard hitting and worded select committee report on MFAT just tabled. The committee has a National majority and is chaired by John Hayes. McCully is losing friends left, right and centre.

    “The committee expressed concern that under the proposed changes competent staff could be lost. The ministry would continue to pay for core services for overseas personnel, such as utilities and education, maintaining a degree of flexibility in these areas. They would give special consideration to those in more challenging posts such as Port Moresby, and will continue to provide support for such people to travel elsewhere for respite.

    The committee is concerned about the detrimental effect of the proposed changes on staff engagement and morale. It considers it vital that the ministry continue to attract and retain the best staff, and hope that there is a will to protect the human base which is the ministry’s greatest asset. The committee [sic] also concerned that the new arrangements may discourage people with young families from entering the foreign service.”


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