INDEPENDENT NEWS

Horomia Tries To Re-Create His Old Empire

Published: Wed 14 Jun 2000 02:50 PM
ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today said the Government’s move to take Community Employment out of WINZ and put it back into the Department of Labour was more about settling old scores than getting New Zealanders into real jobs.
Muriel Newman said one of the chief concerns about today’s announcement is that Mr Horomia has simply pursued his personal agenda, as the former general manager of CEG, to re-establish the service as it was. “This move is also an absolute contradiction to Mr Maharey’s statements that he will be strengthening the employment focus of WINZ,” she said.
“The announcement of the re-creation of community employment as a separate service unit with in the Department of Labour will be expensive and a big step back. What is the logic of WINZ Commissioners, who are responsible for all other Government employment programmes in the provinces, overlapping with staff of another Department, when working with the same client group toward the same employment goal?,” said Muriel Newman.
“Part of the reason for the full merger of the Group into the mainstream of the Department of Work and Income were the savings that made it worth while, enabling significant reductions in the Head Office bureaucracy to be put into front line staffing,” she said.
When the service was merged, the number of Head Office bureaucrats was cut from about 20 to six, and the savings were used to increase front line staff, out working with the disadvantaged groups, by around 15%.
“The re-creation of Community Employment, with its own structure will be very costly and is being done, as usual by this Government, without putting up any evidence to show that it will get New Zealanders on benefits into real jobs,” said Muriel Newman.
“In addition to costing more in salaries, accommodation and the costs that come with setting up a new bureaucracy, the other major question the Government must answer is whether the decision has had proper, if any, analysis both on cost and management grounds,” she said.
“Spending more to set up a separate unit and Service goes against the grain of this Government’s claim to be frugal with taxpayer dollars in the public sector,” said Muriel Newman.
ENDS

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