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Nat Library Want Better Relationship With Minister

National Library Staff Want A Better Relationship With New Minister

National Library staff - `cynical, frustrated and disheartened' over their organisation's restructuring - are hopeful the new Minister, Hon Marie Hasler will act "more responsibly in analysing the Library's `strategic plan' and listen to the views of staff and outside concerned groups."

Staff say the job cuts - at a time when their workload has dramatically increased - have gone too far.

Wellington library staff say the consultation on the strategic plan was poorly communicated and managed. They believe management deliberately obscured the full impact of the plan from them and the public.

A recent meeting of PSA members in Wellington questioned the leadership of the CEO, Chris Blake. The majority of staff feel he failed as an advocate for the library.

In particular, Blake's statement to the parliamentary select committee, when he claimed there was "no case to be made for more funding" was in contradiction to previous claims the drastic cuts were solely driven by a lack of money.

Blake's failure to defend staff - when they were attacked by the then Minister, Nick Smith who reportedly said library staff were `technophobic'- also caused dismay. His only response was the Minister had been misrepresented and his remarks taken out of context.

Smith's only public visit to the library, when launching a new computer system late last month, saw him accuse staff of a `bunker' mentality.

For these reasons the appointment of a new Minister has been greeted with relief. Library staff look forward to a better relationship with their new Minister and hope to meet with her soon.


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