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Competition between SOEs leads to loss of jobs

Competition between SOEs leads to loss of jobs

The competition between state-owned enterprises Asure New Zealand Ltd and Agriquality New Zealand Ltd for work has significantly contributed to the current restructuring of Agriquality, which could result in up to 30 employees being made redundant, PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said today.

“PSA warned this could happen back in May when it became clear that Asure was tendering for work which was traditionally carried out by Agriquality – in this case tuberculosis testing in livestock - and for which it did not have the necessary skills and resources. The Animal Health Board has, unfortunately, continued to award less TB testing contracts to Agriquality and now that organisation is forced to restructure and lay off staff.”

“We are very concerned that skills are being lost and the overall quality of service will be reduced as a result. This is needless competition and is interfering with continuity of service, and is ultimately a waste of taxpayers’ money.”

Richard Wagstaff said another serious spin-off from the ongoing competitive relationship between the two agencies and the restructuring was the risk to New Zealand’s vital bio-security.

“If one agency is increasingly focussing on work for which it does not have the skills and resources, and the other is focussing on restructuring, neither is in a position to focus on responding to serious issues, such as exotic disease outbreaks.”

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