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Consultancy culture costs Kiwis more

11 September 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Consultancy culture costs Kiwis more

Figures released today by Labour show National’s endless state sector shuffling is costing Kiwis hundreds of millions of dollars, says Labour’s State Services spokesperson Chris Hipkins.

Since 2008, 10 Government departments spent a whopping $910.5m on consultants and contractors, while $114.1m was spent laying off staff in many of the same agencies.

“This makes a mockery of National’s claim it’s moving resources from the back office to the frontline,” Chris Hipkins said.

“John Key promised New Zealanders that National would cap, but not cut, the number of staff working in the public service. He’s broken that promise, and Kiwi taxpayers are footing the bill for it.

“The Government’s consultancy culture isn’t saving the taxpayer money and will result in a loss of capability in the long term.

“The public service has already lost a huge amount of valuable expertise and experience and is simply plugging the gap by hiring consultants.

“This is short-term thinking and it doesn’t make sense. We must invest in and value institutional knowledge.

“New Zealand taxpayers are entitled to receive highly responsive, accessible, quality public services. Public sector reform needs to focus on how we deliver that, not on how we can arbitrarily cut staff numbers,” Chris Hipkins said.


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