Environment Ministry cut

Written By: - Date published: 3:17 pm, March 10th, 2009 - 21 comments
Categories: Environment, national/act government, public services - Tags: ,

The National/ACT Government’s axe has fallen on the Environment Ministry today, with staff being flown to Wellington to discover a raft of environmental programmes introduced by the last government will be scrapped.

With them will go at least 18 jobs, making a mockery of the Government’s election pledge to merely “cap” rather than cut the public service, not to mention its stated commitment to “keep Kiwis in work” during the recession.

Stuff reports:

After the meeting, chief executive Paul Reynolds confirmed staff had been briefed on plans to restructure the ministry, partly in response to Cabinet decisions on Monday to axe programmes – including Labour’s flagship drive to implement a carbon neutral public service.

In other decisions by Cabinet, the ministry’s “govt 3” programme – which encouraged government agencies to adopt sustainable policies, including recycling – is being axed; the sustainable households programme (helping households with energy saving tips) was being scaled back; and a halt had been called to the installation of recycling bins in public places. The ministry had also been told to stop work on the Bioethics Council, which it supports with secretariat services.

The mask has well and truly slipped.

21 comments on “Environment Ministry cut”

  1. TomSe 1

    I’ve got a mate of mine who mocked me for telling him that National would cut the public service (for which he works). He is a very smart fellow – well travelled, excellent law degree – and smugly sure that all the battles he was interested in (like civil unions) had been won.

    We needed a change he told me, it wasn’t good for democracy to re-elect Labour, he said. And besides – John Key would be more of the same, he opined.

    Next time I see him I will give him the “aren’t you such a bloody genius” slow handclap.

    • Tane 1.1

      Tom, funny you say that. One of my aunts voted Maori Party because she thought they’d be good for prison reform, which is an issue she cares about.

      She’s taken a while, but now the penny’s finally dropped that all they’ve done is serve as a PR prop for National to make them look centrist and moderate while they’re going about privatising prisons and pushing through ACT’s three strikes law.

      I’d take more pleasure in my gloating if it wasn’t for the fact these clowns are actually running the country.

  2. gingercrush 2

    How has the mask truly slipped. If this government is axing certain programmes. Then those employed under such programmes simply can no longer be employed. When you cut something from a department. Then you surely can’t expect there to be the same number of jobs as there was before.

    And really how many times are we suppose to hear from certain Standard authors that the mask has slipped when many of you stated the mask had slipped on the first day of the new term in Parliament. And since then, any action by National has been stated as, “the mask slipping”. So either you stick with one time when the mask has slipped or you state, that this is another action taken by National showing the mask has slipped.

    • Kevin Welsh 2.1

      Someone touch a raw nerve there Ginger?

      Must be gutting to hear all those ” I told you so’s” after believing and regurgitating the PR.

      Looks like Rodney has been working overtime behind the scenes.

      • gingercrush 2.1.1

        Actually I find it laughable, how the left continues to try and convince people that the National before the election somehow held up a mask and since then, has been slowly revealing it. Its rather hilarious to be honest. And the more they do it. The more I believe they’ve stepped out of reality. And its the left that perpetuates this view of some big PR machine. That in itself is laughable.

        • Kevin Welsh 2.1.1.1

          And I find it laughable that the right continues to believe that it isn’t happening.

          I am neither surprised nor upset about the way everything is working out as it is standard operating procedure for National.

          Shades of the Emperors New Clothes as each day passes.

  3. Chess Player 3

    Could someone who has the numbers to hand please let us know what percentage of public servants has been outplaced so far this government term?

    It would have to be all of 0.001% wouldn’t it?

  4. vidiot 4

    Tane – pays to quote the full article

    Mr Reynolds said it was hoped those jobs affected by the decisions could be dealt with through natural attrition.

    Natural Attrition does not equal people being sacked mate.

    • Tane 4.1

      Where did I say people would be sacked? I said jobs would be lost, and the public service was being cut.

      • Chess Player 4.1.1

        Well, you do use the words ‘axe’, ‘scrapped’ and ‘cut’……a little emotionally stronger than ‘lost’ I’d suggest….

    • Kevin Welsh 4.2

      And “hoped” doesn’t mean they won’t be sacked either, should the need arise.

  5. Tim Ellis 5

    Jobs aren’t being cut, Tane. People simply aren’t being replaced when they move on. Clearly with a new government, priorities have changed. National went into the election saying it would cap the number of core public servants. Clearly if National has any new priorities, it has to find headcount from some of what it regards as lower-quality priorities for a National Government.

    • Chess Player 5.1

      Stop being so rational ,Tim – there’s just no room for that sort of thing on this blog.

  6. insider 6

    SO Tane the public service can never, ever, ever change, is that it?

    MfE was in my experience full of bright eyed people with ideological agendas very closely aligned to the former govt. That’s fine but unfortunately they also had access to the public purse and little in the way of experience in what was appropriate in managing that purse. Change was always going to happen.

  7. Meanwhile, with this the government has got rid of our last concrete climate change policy. Not only have they ‘suspended” the ETS, repealed the biofuels obligation, scrapped energy efficiency standards and dumped the thermal generation ban – they now won’t even tell people how to voluntarily reduce emissions by saving electricity.

    This is not the action of a government simply reconsidering its options; this is the action of a government in deep denial. We are now back to where we were under this lot in the 90’s: we have a (far-off) goal – “50% by 2050” – but no measures at all to achieve it.

    • Chess Player 7.1

      ” they now won’t even tell people how to voluntarily reduce emissions by saving electricity.”

      Does the govt really have to tell people how to do that?

      Do people not know how to operate electrical switches?

      • George Darroch 7.1.1

        It’s not all switching off lights and living in the dark, Chess Player. There are a range of technologies and techniques that allow people to save electricity and reduce bills while having a comparable or improved standard of living.

        Problem is, most people have limited information, and deciding the relative merits of various things can be rather difficult. This is where Government advisory programs can come in, allowing informed public servants who’ve studied these to point people in the right direction… but even this is too much. Apparently. Can’t have the population making informed decisions now, can we?

  8. There is a difference between saying the overall level of public service jobs will remain approximately constant, and between guaranteeing that no individual agencies won’t have job losses. A massive difference.

    Even under Labour, individual agencies would restructure and have job losses – such as TEC in 2006.

    Until we get a report on overall staffing levels, you won’t know if National has grown, shrunk or roughly kept the size the same (say less than 1% movement). Some agencies such as MED may be increasing their numbers.

    • lprent 8.1

      Yes. Like they have massively increased the expense in the spin doctors. I seem up remember that was something that they were against.

  9. noleftie 9

    What’s the matter with you people. Hundreds of people losing their jobs around the country and you’re wetting your pants over 18 public service positions!

    Why is there even a Ministry for the Environment? Combine it with the Department of Conservation and save a ton of money.

    Money which could then be spent in schools and hospitals.

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