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Bureaucrat bashing? There must be an election

1 October 2008 Media Statement

Bureaucrat bashing? There must be an election

The National Party is up to old tricks of attacking the public sector, State Services Minister David Parker said.

"Gerry Brownlee is keen to undermine the public sector by issuing press releases criticising 'bureaucrats' though I notice that John Key and Bill English have not used that term when addressing public sector audiences in person," David Parker said. "Once again, one message for one audience, and another one for another."

David Parker said public sector growth was in line with growth in jobs generally.

"The Bayleys Real Estate report, like the one Mr Brownlee refers to today, shows near record low vacancies for office space in Auckland (where there are very few government offices) as well as low vacancies in central Wellington. In other words, more employees occupying more space is the result of a growing economy. That's a good thing.

"The overall public sector has grown by 11 percent since 2002 compared with 13 percent for the labour market as a whole. That's an increase of 32,445 compared with an increase of 251,700 in the employed labour force."

The growth reflects the fact that the Labour-led government has been busy implementing policies to improve the lives of New Zealanders, David Parker said.

"For example, staff at the Inland Revenue department have increased because we've implemented the Kiwisaver scheme, which more than 800,000 New Zealanders have signed up to."

David Parker said a review of accommodation by the State Services Commission showed that the standard and quality of public service accommodation is on par with the private sector.

"We continue to look for ways to get better value for money, and one thing we're considering now is to better coordinate leasing arrangements so that government agencies don't end up competing with each other for floor space."

ENDS

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