That’s strange

Written By: - Date published: 2:49 pm, February 17th, 2009 - 13 comments
Categories: blogs, economy, interweb, workers' rights - Tags:

An hour ago No Right Turn posted a piece citing what was apparently a Ministry of Social Development press release, which he says was “confirmation that the government is planning to slash 500 to 1000 people from the Ministry of Social Development”.

He gives a link to scoop for the presser. But Scoop has since taken it down without explanation. The Greens have a press release flowing from the MSD one called ‘Job destruction at MSD one week before summit’ also claiming the MSD is saying at least 500 jobs will go.

Anyone know what’s going on or what the press release says?

13 comments on “That’s strange”

  1. Ah, I see, I’ll edit the post, the one NRt linsk to is gone but the Greens one remains.

  2. I was linking to the Green party one anyway; I’ll correct the link.

  3. BLiP 4

    I found it on Scoop?

    Interesting to note:

    “In announcing the (Fat Cat Gab Fest) Summit last month, Mr (Goober) Key said: “My Government is determined to show decisive leadership to protect New Zealanders’ jobs as we head into tougher economic times,”

    More lies.

  4. Rex Widerstrom 5

    Hmmm, well I wonder how many people are employed as spin doctors at the Ministry. Because checkin to see if there’d been any prior discussion on the topic I went to the MSD website. And here’s their media output for the past year:

    02/08 – 1
    03/08 – 0
    04/08 – 0
    05/08 – 1
    06/08 – 4 (must have worked overtime!)
    07/08 – 4 (more overtime!)
    08/08 – 2
    09/08 – 1
    10/08 – 1
    11/08 – 0
    12/08 – 1
    01/09 – 0
    02/09 – 1

    That’s 16 in a year. I know it sounds curmudgeonly but in my day at NZF we peaked at nine a day, plus as many as six fresh speeches a week, produced by two people. And I’d wager we were on a pittance compared to Ministry Comms people (and we lived in paper bag in middle of t’ road…)

    500 to 1000 seems extreme, but I can see one section where some layoffs wouldn’t hurt. Sheesh, 16 releases a year? Give them to me and I’ll charge a fee of about half the salary of a junior comms co-ordinator, do them better, and still think it’s my lucky day 😀

  5. ghostwhowalks 6

    Rex, long time no see.
    If you went into a MSD front line office you would see an avalanche of material.

    Not all spin doctors work in the exalted press release area where the try to mislead the media, most just do hum drum stuff on pamphlets for beneficiaries and even these days web sites ( heard of those) where people go for like information in an understandable format

    Things have moved on from your day, but I don’t think NZF has a decent web site yet.

    Plus the so called reduced numbers from St Johnnysburg probably mean his web site people have just been reclassified, even though they work on content rather than the programming

  6. Tane 7

    Rex, I know a couple of people who work in communications for MSD. They don’t write ‘spin’, they produce publications to inform the public about their rights and entitlements. The ‘army of spin doctors’ thing was always, well, National Party spin.

  7. Rex Widerstrom 8

    GWW, I built a damned good wesite for NZF back in 1995. I was more than a little chuffed when no less an authority than Computerworld commented (in its September 1996 issue):

    When the party lost Rex Widerstrom, it also lost most of its Internet savvy. Widerstrom, who had become a popular figure in local newsgroups, helped set up the Web site, including its built-in bulletin board. If the messages had been occasionally prickly when Widerstrom was present, they became positively toxic after his departure.

    And of course I virtually insist clients who don’t have one start one when I take on their PR. So yeah, I have heard of the concept. But thanks for checking.

    Tane: Point taken, though I’d have expected a Ministry under whose watch all sorts of potentially controversial social policy issues are implemented would have had more of a media relations effort going on as well as the other more prosaic stuff. So how many of them are there?

  8. Quoth the Raven 9

    Why don’t they cut the families commission instead?
    ….the grey hairspray man.

  9. Whanake 10

    “500 to a 1,000” ? They can’t all be PR people. I only hope they don’t do too much damage for Labour to (eventually) repair. The fact that it has been so hamfistedly released may tell us something. It should be an interesting conference in a weeks time ..

  10. Rudith 11

    ” .the grey hairspray man”

    That’s strange,because one of my ex husbands was one of those.I buried him in the back garden.

  11. BeShakey 12

    “Point taken, though I’d have expected a Ministry under whose watch all sorts of potentially controversial social policy issues are implemented would have had more of a media relations effort going on as well as the other more prosaic stuff. So how many of them are there.”

    Those press releases should really be coming out of the Minister’s office (and therefore written by the Minister’s staff). From my understanding, as well as the things people have already discussed Comms staff can play a role in preparing speeches for Ministers, replying to correspondence to the Minister and the Department, responding to media queries, and preparing responses to OIA and parliamentary questions (written and oral).

  12. ryallsghost 13


    Make it 1000 and that would be a good start.

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