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Government Spin Reaches New Heights

Government Spin Reaches New Heights

Wednesday 11th Apr 2001 Dr Muriel Newman Media Release -- Social Welfare

The merger between Work and Income New Zealand and the Ministry of Social Policy shows what drastic lengths this Government will go to in an effort to put a positive spin on their own bungling, ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Muriel Newman said today.

“This merger is nothing more than a snow-job to disguise future personal grievance claims caused by the injudicious comments of the minister himself. A potentially huge claim has been signalled for a long time.

“To get themselves out of a humiliating situation, the Government has unilaterally decided on a merger as a ‘quick-fix’. They are bypassing consultation, costings, and all the normal processes which mark public sector restructuring. In fact, they have sought no advice from the Ministry of Social Policy, Work and Income New Zealand, Department of the Prime Minister, Cabinet or the State Services Commission.

“Five thousand WINZ staff, and all of the Ministry employees, must be reeling from this decision. The Government has acted deceitfully and with complete disregard for procedure or commonsense.

“Even up until today, the Ministry denied this plan existed.

“We have seen situations where the Government has spent millions on consultations - the F16 purchases, the dairy company merger, MyBank – only to then ignore that advice.

“Now they have reached a stage where they skip consultation altogether.

“This shock announcement goes completely against the recommendations of the Hunn Report, which clearly recommended no new restructuring for WINZ.

“Now, they are not just restructuring, but creating a brand new entity without any consultation. That demonstrates an arrogance and propensity to rely on spin not ever seen, even under this Government,” Muriel Newman said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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