web analytics

PSA on core public service

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, March 13th, 2008 - 19 comments
Categories: national, youtube - Tags: ,

Richard Wagstaff from the PSA was interviewed by Sunrise on John Key’s plan to undermine the public service this morning.

He notes Key’s tactical use of emotive language, questions his distinction between “front-line” and “bureaucratic” staff, suggests that the numbers used by National are possibly a little misleading and points out that our public service is of about average size.

19 comments on “PSA on core public service ”

  1. the sprout 1

    well obviously if want want to appear righteous, you have to first demonize the object of your attack.

  2. Benodic 2

    My partner’s a public servant. The last three nights she’s worked until 10 o’clock. Let’s just say she was not at all impressed by John Key’s comments. What’s his plan to get more value out of her? Sack half her workmates as an incentive for her to work harder?

  3. deemac 3

    bureaucrats are an easy target but without them no other service can function. In the UK it was Brown’s sacking of tens of thousands of civil servants (to outflank the Tories) that led directly to the loss of the discs containing the data of 25 million people – the officer whose job it was to supervise junior staff so that (among other things) they didn’t put unencrypted data in the general post, was deemed unnecessary. It used to be called “penny wise, pound foolish”

    captcha: hire Mrs !

  4. Steve Pierson 4

    Make doctors run between patients and have prison guards knit socks while they do their rounds.

    captcha: born assets. that’s how the rightwing elite views workers.

  5. Brownie 5


    “born assets. that’s how the rightwing elite views workers.”

    Bollocks, no one does well when others are suffering. Do you classify all business owners/employers as right wing elite (i.e core National supporters)?

    Captcha: personnel out – that captcha is scary sometimes

  6. r0b 6

    So, John, currency trader, would that be “front line, making a real difference to people’s lives” or “back office paper shuffling”?

  7. Phil 7

    As an employee of a pseudo govt-department, and former employee of a fully fleged govt department, I think it’s necessary to out some distinctions.

    There IS an extrodinary amount of wasted resource in government, but it’s not in terms of a simple headcount.
    We’re all doing the best we can, but are using woefully old systems that simply cannot cope with the new requirements and expectations being placed upon us with alarming regularity. As a result, you need to hire more people to fill a gap, when a more strategic approach to capital investment would, in the long run, benefit everyone.

  8. Santi 8

    “My partner’s a public servant. The last three nights she’s worked until 10 o’clock.”

    Benodic, is she a tea lady?

    IrishBill says: You have done nothing but troll Santi and having a go at someone’s partner is pretty tasteless and banal. Last warning.

  9. Benodic 9

    That’s what I love about the right – the sexism.

    She’s a senior adviser Santi, does that threaten your manhood?

  10. Ari 10

    While it’s possible to eke more efficiency out of the public service, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not “profitable”, in the sense of returning more public value than the wages and costs it pays out. Inefficient businesses in the private sector remain profitable too, look at Telecom. So even if John Key can make a good case for the public service being inefficient in some areas, he still hasn’t really justified capping the number of employees it should have- just firing any incurably ineffective ones, and making sure management is not getting in the way of getting work done. That would result in him releasing some policy however, which he seems completely against at the moment.

    He also seems to be devaluing management, which is rather amusing for a National Party leader. Hey John- if the front-line employees are so important, why didn’t National raise the minimum wage while it was in Government? That seems like the sort of thing that the front lines appreciate.

    Benodic: Good on her. We need more women in senior positions, and that’s one of the things this government has incontestably done right.

    Captcha was “who richman”. I think you’re right, it must be analysing the blog and popping up appropriate literature for us 😉

  11. the sprout 11

    santi’s manhood would have to be located before it could be threatened.

  12. East Wellington Superhero 12


    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    You accuse JK of being ‘selective’ and ’emotive’ and then Richard Wagstaff (RW) comes on and talks about Border Patrol and the Courts – as if these are the areas National is targeting – and doesn’t mention policy units in education and health and the 300% increase at Art, Culture and Heritage. Then he says “society would cease to function” without the public service.

    His spiel was both selective and emotive.

    The PSA would make me laugh if it wasn’t tragic.

    Where was the PSA while Labour was screwing around with public servants jobs and their professional reputation. Nothing more than squeek more them.

    Trevor Mallard even apologised to Erin Leigh but the PSA we pretty bloody quiet.

    Then National does a speech and its all hand on deck.

    The PSA have shown there true colours in the last 12 months. They put Labour before their members. Awesome. I hope fee-paying PSA members know that for the good of the Labour Party, they are expendible.

  13. Ari 13

    EWS: Do you have anything specific to say about government policy or public service management of Art, Culture and Heritage? Because those are major tourism and business opportunities in New Zealand, and categorically opposing any government assistance or oversight in these areas seems to me like stifling our economy to satisfy personal prejudice about what careers are worthwhile.

    That said, I don’t think Labour are saints, either. They’ve not exactly upheld the full integrity of the public service, nor have they made policy easy to implement in an efficient manner, but there’s no denying that not only is National ideologically opposed to it, it abuses it for its own ends and it has in the past let the public service decay, at best.

  14. East Wellington Superhero 14


    Regarding A.C.H. The 300% is people in the Ministry, not people frontline people working, for example in the administration of tourism promotion – we have other massive departments for that. It’s ridiculous. JK isn’t suggesting a wholesale deconstruction of the public service so it’s silly for folk to assert his is.

    National is political like everyone else, however, they don’t abuse govt workers. In the 1990s the public service was down sized for financial (there was no money) and ideological reasons – that’s fine we can debate the merits of those decisions. However, National didn’t go out of their way to ruin people’s careers for their own selfish end. Helen Clark’s recounting of the Christine Rankin days in the House yesterday was disgraceful and further reveals how they are prepared to use people for the greater good. Ironic actually because Labour tries to get the moral highground over National by claiming they look out for the individuals that get left behind or the ones that miss out – actually, for the greater good, anyone is expendible.

  15. soggy biscuit anyone?
    Hardly surprising that the epmu blog has dog whistled up a lot of civil servants on this thread.
    As they say Turkeys don’t vote for an early xmas. Do they?

  16. r0b 16

    That’s the second time you’ve alluded to the biscuit game BB. Are you looking for a bite? Keep it seemly now, this is a family show…

  17. r0b, you are not paying attention. I have mentioned the axis of stupid biscuit club many times.

    Public perception is a terrible thing, whether we have too many public servants or not is unimportant. What is important is that everybody knows labour have boosted health spending by BILLIONS, but yet our elderly relatives are lieing on gurneys in hospital corridors on the news every night. AND IT AIN’T EVEN WINTER YET.

  18. r0b 18

    r0b, you are not paying attention. I have mentioned the axis of stupid biscuit club many times.

    Sorry BB, The Standard is now so busy and active that I can’t keep up with every comment, and I must say that there are some that I am more inclined to read than others.

    Public perception is a terrible thing, whether we have too many public servants or not is unimportant.

    Thank you for articulating the essence of National’s campaign strategy so succinctly BB. Perception is all, and damn the facts. It really gives me great confidence in what National would be like as a government.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago