Ryall confirms mergers of NZ state agencies, leaves Education Review Office alone
Aug. 11 (BusinessDesk) – State Services Minister Tony Ryall has confirmed plans to merge nine state agencies, wringing out cost saving over four years of $19.6 million.
The government would create a new arms-length health promotion agency to take over the functions of the Alcohol Advisory Council, the Health Sponsorship Council and relevant functions in the Ministry of Health.
It will speed up the disestablishment of the Mental Health Commission and transfer the functions to the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner, which will include a new Mental Health Commissioner. The Crown Health Financing Agency will be disestablished, with functions shifted to the Ministry of Health and Treasury.
The functions of the Charities Commission will be transferred to Internal Affairs, with a new statutory board set up to provide independent registrations. The government will also disestablish the Health Act Boards of Appeal, the Maritime Appeal Authority and the Land Valuation Tribunals, with their functions transferred to the District Court.
The mergers require legislative change. Ryall said ongoing savings will amount to $4.1 million a year with one-time transition costs expected to be about $1.3 million.
The government won’t proceed with the merger of the Education Review Authority and the NZ Qualification Authority. Ryall’s statement said due diligence “hasn’t produced compelling evidence to support structural change.”
He also abandoned a proposal to merge back office functions of the privacy Commissioner and the Human Rights Commission.