12 March 2008
National unfamiliar with the real public service
“National leader John Key’s policy announcement today on the public service shows just how inexperienced he is in this area of important public policy,” CTU president Helen Kelly said.
“It is widely accepted that New Zealand has a top public service and both business and union representatives have recently publicly acknowledged how important and impressive the work and advice is that’s coming from the core public service on issues as varied as economic growth, employment, social policy and climate change.”
“If John Key wants to cut back room staff he should front up and name them.”
“What’s the use of front line conservation workers maintaining our parks and reserves if the world is heating up and there is no policy work being done on how to cope with climate change?”
“Mr Key needs to understand that front line staff in areas like DOC, CYF and Police can’t do their jobs without decent back room systems, policy advice and support, and when systems fail on the front line it is often the backroom that looks to ensure it is not repeated.”
“And what about a few facts? The percentages are misleading - the 15,000 new teachers, nurses and doctors alone, funded by this government dwarf the additional 10,000 new core staff across all government departments.”
“New Zealanders expect and demand high quality public services. They want access to first class services, and consistently rate their important in public opinion surveys.”
“The greatest thing that our public services have in common is that they are for all people, regardless of wealth and status. It is a cheap gimmick to label public servants as faceless bureaucrats of no value,” Helen Kelly said.