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Huge increase in office space for bureaucrats

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party State Services Spokesman

1 October 2008

Huge increase in office space for bureaucrats

In the past five years Labour has overseen an increase in the amount of extra floor space leased for bureaucrats in central Wellington equivalent to almost four Te Papas, says National's State Services spokesman, Gerry Brownlee.

"How can people have faith and trust in Labour's stewardship of the public service when it has overseen an increase in the amount of extra floor space leased for bureaucrats in the past five years that equates to an additional 13.2 hectares?"

Mr Brownlee says the amount of floor space leased to house bureaucrats in central Wellington has increased from 313,578 square metres in 2003 to 445,915 metres, an increase of 42%.

"Labour has chosen to create extra space for bureaucrats that would be equal to almost two of the new Auckland City Hospitals, 27 of the new Sunderland Schools, or 1,470 state houses.

"Meanwhile, Bayleys Real Estate estimates that the government sector now occupies almost 40% of the total commercial space in the Wellington CBD, and says the 'surge' of floor uptake involves 'quite staggering numbers'."

Mr Brownlee says the extra floor space has not come cheaply, and the government now pays around $106 million a year in rent.

"National has a policy to cap the Wellington core bureaucracy and deliver more effective use of existing spending by focusing on frontline services.

"At a time when householders are desperately trying to contain their personal spending, the Government should be doing the same. The uncertainty in the global economy means that setting the right priorities is now more important than it has been for quite some time."

ENDS

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