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

  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihƍpai RĆ«naka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago