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National will halt growth of core bureaucracy

John Key MP
National Party Leader

12 March 2008

National will halt growth of core bureaucracy

National Party Leader John Key says a National Government will halt the growth of the Government’s core bureaucracy.

“My commitment to New Zealanders is this – in the first term of a National Government, we will not grow the size of the core bureaucracy. Enough is enough. We are going to make do with the resource we have, and work to get more value out of it.”

Mr Key announced the policy in a speech to the National Press Club in Wellington today.

“It is time to stop the growth in bureaucracy we have seen over eight years of the Labour Government. It is time to focus public spending on front-line services that make a real difference in people’s lives, rather than paper-shuffling and report-writing that does not. It is time to cut out the low quality spending that goes on in the state sector and let New Zealanders keep a little more of their own money.

“Over the past eight years the bureaucracy has grown out of all proportion to those parts of the state sector that actually serve the public.

“The fastest growing sector in the economy since 2000 has not been agriculture, it has not been retail trade, transport, manufacturing, personal services, or finance and business services. No, the fastest growing sector in the economy since 2000 has been government administration.

“We are not going to reduce the number of front-line staff. Let me make this absolutely clear – under National the numbers of doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers, police and other front-line staff will grow.

“I firmly believe we have enough bureaucrats to do the job already and that the priority for resources in the state sector is the delivery of front-line services.

“And by keeping a lid on the size of the bureaucracy, we will, over time, restore a sensible balance between the number of state employees who are giving advice to the government and the number who are delivering front-line services.

“When it comes to the bureaucracy, it is clear that Labour has spent eight years doing the same with more. It’s high time we started doing more with the same.

“That is National’s policy. We are going to cap the number of bureaucrats and instead direct government spending towards the delivery of front-line services.

“I can promise you that under a National Government, the bureaucracy will never be the fastest-growing sector of the economy, as it has been under Labour. Labour has been about growing the public service. National is about growing services to the public.”


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