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MPI slashes 10% of workforce in response to Govt spending cuts

The agency charged with safeguarding and growing our key primary exports has today confirmed it is cutting 10% of its nationwide workforce.

Staff at the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) were this morning informed that 391 roles are to go following consultation - 193 of these are currently vacant.

"Such a huge reduction in the workforce of MPI can only weaken the vital work the Ministry does across the country in protecting and promoting New Zealand’s primary industry," said Fleur Fitzsimons, Assistant Secretary for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

"MPI is our first line of defence against threats to the industry which underpins our prosperity so it’s baffling that the Government has forced this vital agency to slash spending by 7.5% to fund tax cuts.

"While MPI maintains no frontline roles are impacted, the PSA is concerned that such a large reduction in the workforce will impact the ability of frontline biosecurity officers, fisheries officers, vets and others to do their job.

"This is a complex Ministry with many moving parts. These changes will only increase the workloads of remaining staff, and will see the loss of experienced, specialist staff who have been at the Ministry for many years.

"Our primary producers should question whether the agency they rely on can still be effective and be there to support them when they need it most, as it did during the Mbovis crisis and in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle.

"It’s just more reckless short-term thinking from the Government that runs the risks of long-term problems for the economy and for the thousands of New Zealanders whose livelihoods depend on the industry, on the farm, in processing and in supplying our producers.

"The PSA remains opposed to these job losses."

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