Denise Roche
100 years of the public service

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Public Service Act of 1912. This act established New Zealand’s public service, changing the model from one in which Ministers treated Ministries as their own personal fiefdoms and pay varied widely between Ministries.

Today, the public service performs a wide range of vital roles helping to keep our country functioning and to support all those who live in New Zealand. Unfortunately, all is not well in the sector.

Since coming to power, the National Government has repeatedly cut jobs across the sector, which has had negative impacts not only on the staff being made redundant and their families, but also on the services that the sector delivers to other New Zealanders. Over 5000 jobs have been lost in the last four years, with approximately 200 of these losses in an 18 km radius in the Hawkes Bay area. Many public servants are feeling the pressure of increased workloads, pressure on wages and conditions and increasingly hostile work environments.

The National Government is also introducing a range of amendments to legislation that will further harm the public sector and those who work in it. The Public Service Association, a union that represents tens of thousands of workers in the public and wider state sector, is launching a campaign called More Reforms, Fewer Rights to fight against these dangerous changes.

The public sector is an important part of New Zealand. We all interact with different parts of it each and every day, and we need to stand together against the Government’s attacks in order to ensure that the promise that began in 1912 can continue to flourish for the benefit of us all.

9 thoughts on “100 years of the public service

  1. The massive increases in salaries and staff under the previous Labour govt was utterly and totally unsustainable.

    They increased those on six figure salaries by 500%.

    And those on $200,000+ went up by 1000%.

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  2. So a lot of staff were on just under 100,000. The number of people in the top tax bracket did more than double under Labour.

    And yes the few on over $200,000 were joined by others.

    Your point?

    There is more, the number of full time workers earning under $20,000 pa fell from over 250,000 to zero under Labour.

    Fonterra, Telecom and Fletcher Building’s annual reports show those firms had 41 employees earning seven-figure salaries in the last financial year

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10845127

    That’s seven figures, and Rodney Hide (in the NBR recently) said the top bureaucrats were smarter than those in the private sector.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  3. ……….. It may well be true that the fat cats did very well in seeing their salary’s grow under Labor.

    So National comes along and cuts taxes for the greedy and rich.

    I think Nationals tax cuts to the rich gave the head of telecom a $2500 per week pay rise which Im sure he really, really needed.

    Those are the sort of people John Key and National party looks after

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 (0)

  4. So National comes along and cuts taxes for the greedy and rich.

    Dude really? That’s about the same as me saying ‘The Greens want to give more to the lazy and poor’. Which we both know is a bit of an exaggeration.

    Since coming to power, the National Government has repeatedly cut jobs across the sector, which has had negative impacts not only on the staff being made redundant and their families, but also on the services that the sector delivers to other New Zealanders.

    There are so many wider questions which people seem to avoid. How big should the public sector be? Does Joe Public care if it takes 1 hour instead of 40 minutes to get through to IRD?

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  5. SPC says “There is more, the number of full time workers earning under $20,000 pa fell from over 250,000 to zero under Labour.”

    That’s so lame.

    For a 40 hour week, a 5c an hour rise from $9.60 to $9.65 would have pushed 250,000 from below to above the $20,000 pa figure.

    To borrow some of your words – There is more, the number of full time workers earning under $28,000 pa fell from over 250,000 to zero under National. And they did it in just one day.

    Interesting to see you defend 500-1000% increases in the numbers of people in six figure salary brackets.

    SPC says “The number of people in the top tax bracket did more than double under Labour.”

    Anther lame arguement. Although inflation went up 30% while Labour were in power, they FAILED to lift the level of the tax brackets to keep pace, like other countries do. Inflation alone moved tens of thousands of middle income people into the highest tax bracket.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  6. “The massive increases in salaries and staff under the previous Labour govt was utterly and totally unsustainable.”

    Couldn’t agree more. But what has this got to do with anything Denise wrote?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  7. Sustainability in government should take a lot into consideration. I feel the financial gap widening due to unsustainable increases in take home pay of the top bureaucrats.

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  8. …in order to ensure that the promise that began in 1912 can continue to flourish for the benefit of us all.

    flourish: To grow well or luxuriantly; thrive

    Verb: (of a person, animal, or other living organism) Grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way

    Of all the things a taxpayer funded service should do, “flourish” is not one of them.

    The services governments deliver should be limited to those that make excellent sense for governments to deliver, and those services should be delivered at as low as cost as is reasonably practicable.

    The state sector isn’t about civil servants: is about citizens.

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