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Rankin Restructures against staff, community wish

The Chief Executive of Work and Income (WINZ), Christine Rankin forced through her restructuring plans against the wishes of both the CEG staff and the communities they served according to Green MP Rod Donald. He said this was evident from the Report of the Social Services Select Committee's Inquiry into the review of the Community Employment Group (CEG) released this week.

"Not only did Ms Rankin ignore the advice of her own staff and input from community organisations and local bodies, she refused to consult with the Department of Labour because it held a contrary view on the restructuring," said Rod Donald.

The Community Employment Group, established in 1991, worked with those particularly disadvantaged in the labour market including Maori, Pacific Islander and women, both urban and rural.

In their submission to the Select Committee the Department of Labour stated that "a key element of the Community Employment Group's contribution and robustness had been its independent identity."

Conflict between the Department of Labour and the WINZ CEO was evident when the Secretary of Labour said "that it was his understanding at the time of integration was that the CEG would remain a stand alone entity", whereas Ms Rankin claimed that the future of the CEG was under question at that time.

"This further highlights Ms Rankin's high handed approach to her job. By submerging the CEG and WINZ she has highlighted her lack of understanding of the community development approach to employment creation. She has put her need for absolute control ahead of the needs of the disadvantaged groups the CEG used to serve," Mr Donald said.


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