That wasn’t the experience of the 80s and 90s when vital institutional knowledge and expertise were lost in a frenzy of asset sales, privatisation and brutal job cuts– when public service numbers dropped from around 85,000 public servants to under 30,000 when Labour took office in 1999.
Yesterday MAF announced that241 positions are being cut – that’s 144 real jobs as so many of those positions are unfilled (another tactic
of this government that adds to work load stress to the remaining staff).
Around 80 of those jobs are Wellington policy analysts – they’re the people who help protect our forestry, biosecurity, fisheries and agricultural industries. Fairly important I would have thought.
You can trace major tragedies like Cave Creek back to underfunding. The Commission of Inquiry into the disaster found that the platform collapsed, killing 14 people, in part because the Department of Conservation didn’t have enough funding… the “root causes of the collapse lie in a combined systemic failure against the background of an underfunded and under-resourced department”.
Likewise at Pike River. In order to save money – around $1 million – the number of mines inspectors employed by the Department of Labour was drastically reduced, leaving just one covering the whole of the South Island. As the enquiry into the disaster progresses, bet your boots that the number of inspectors along with inferior safety standards will be found to be a contributing factor.
Plus 89,000 leaky homes as a direct result of slack building codes and self regulation costing hundreds of millions of dollars in payouts and heartbreak beyond count.
And let’s not forget monumental failures in financial regulation that’s opened the door for finance companies to act illegally, immorally and unethically. Bridgecorp, Nathans Finance, and countless others are testimony to what happens if the public sector doesn’t regulate companies property.
Already there’s been over 5000 public sector jobs lost under NACT – if this was any other industry there’d be a public outcry. As it is, we have a finance minister who claims the rest of the country “have tears of joy in their eyes ” at the thought of public sector job cuts.
Wake up NZ and get the facts at www.keepNZworking.co.nz