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Cuts gut Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

23 February 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Cuts gut Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Sources have revealed to Labour that 305 people, including 63 in policy positions, are to lose their jobs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Phil Goff says.

The Government is due to announce these figures shortly.

“This represents the biggest cuts ever in the Foreign Affairs and Trade service. They are the direct result of National government demands that the service cuts $40 million a year from its budget.

“However they dress it up, this is a gutting of core Ministry staff,” Phil Goff said. “It will hugely damage the capacity and performance of a Ministry that has a reputation for competency, effectiveness and commitment.

“The dismissal of 305 staff represents one in four Ministry employees. It will undermine the ability of the Ministry to carry out its basic functions of advancing and guarding New Zealand’s security and trade interests abroad.

“New Zealanders rely on this service to protect their families and defend and promote our safety and standard of living.

“This decision is disastrous at a time when New Zealand’s national interests are at risk from an unstable world.

“The Government has ignored the Ministry’s warning that such changes carry significant risks,” Phil Goff said.


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