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112% increase in govt comms staff in six years

112% increase in govt comms staff in six years

The number of staff employed to communicate the Labour government’s message has grown by at least 112% in the past six years.

“At 1 July 2008 government departments employed 505 public relations, communications, media staff and contractors. Six years ago, they had 238. New Zealanders know the service provided by these departments isn’t twice as good.”

The figures are revealed in answers to a series of written Parliamentary questions.

“The number of public relations, communications, media staff, and contractors has risen nearly 13% in the past year alone, up from 448 in 2007, to 505 this year.

“The government spent $30,498,344 on spin doctor salaries for public relations, communications, and media staff in 2006/7 - in the 2007/8 year that rose by 27% to $38,860,253.”

Notable departments to see increases:

Department of Conservation
2006/7: $560,000
2007/8: $1,100,000
= 96% increase

Ministry for the Environment
2006/7: $580,140
2007/8: $1,092,484
= 88% increase

Inland Revenue Department
2006/7: $913,909
2007/8: $1,828,476
= 100% increase

Last week, Mr Brownlee released figures showing Labour had overseen an increase in the amount of extra floor space leased for bureaucrats in central Wellington equivalent to almost four Te Papas.

“National is determined to get better value for taxpayer money and focus on improving frontline services.”


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