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Public servants to be proud of

September 4, 2003

Public servants to be proud of

New Zealand’s public servants are being unfairly caught up in the political firing line but their position as public servants means they are unable to defend themselves, PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said today.

“It is a fruitless negative exercise and doesn’t serve New Zealand’s interests well to undermine the public service.”

Richard Wagstaff said it was difficult to marry allegations of a “corrupt” administration with the results of an international survey carried out last year on corruption amongst public officials.

“The 2002 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index Survey ranked New Zealand second equal with Denmark, out of 102 countries surveyed, with Finland in first place. New Zealand has a public service of which it can be proud and politicians making unfair and unsubstantiated accusations against it is not helpful to anyone.”

“Our public servants are there to serve the government of the day regardless of their political colour. There is a mutual agreement whereby public servants won’t comment or interfere in political matters and politicians won’t target public servants for political point scoring. Lately, the agreement seems very one-sided.”

[ends]

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