Plan to cut 29 positions at Ministry of Fisheries

Press Release – Public Service Association

The Public Service Association is concerned about restructuring at the Ministry of Fisheries which proposes cutting 29 positions. Staff at the Ministry have been briefed about restructuring this afternoon. “The Ministry of Fisheries has a huge job to …

PSA MEDIA RELEASE
April 30, 2009
For Immediate Use

PSA concerned at proposal to cut 29 positions at Ministry of Fisheries

The Public Service Association is concerned about restructuring at the Ministry of Fisheries which proposes cutting 29 positions.

Staff at the Ministry have been briefed about restructuring this afternoon.
“The Ministry of Fisheries has a huge job to do in managing the commercial fishing of 130 species of fish in the 4.4 million square kilometres of coastal waters covered by New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone,” says PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff.

“Ministry staff are responsible for ensuring that this huge resource is fished sustainably and we’re concerned that the restructuring and cutting of positions may have a negative impact on this vital work.”

“We fear that the restructuring proposal will result in redundancies but it’s unclear how many there will be at this stage.”

“This is a concern as it’s essential the Ministry of Fisheries have the staff and resources they need to protect the fishing industry that earns $1.3 billion a year in exports and employs more than 7000 workers.”

“We are also concerned that the restructuring proposal will reduce the level of consultation between the Ministry of Fisheries and organisations involved in fishing,” says Richard Wagstaff.

The restructuring proposal states that “there will be a substantial reduction in the overall resources used by the Ministry to undertake external engagement. In order to achieve this reduction we will need to reduce engagement with some external parties.”

“It appears that restructuring will mean the Ministry will be engaging less with stakeholders like Maori over issues such as customary fishing rights,” says Richard Wagstaff.

“That’s a reduction in service from the Ministry which will concern Maori and other stakeholders involved in fishing,” says Richard Wagstaff.

The PSA has 97 members working at the Ministry of Fisheries and will be making a submission to the commission on the restructuring proposal. The union will also be working to ensure the restructuring process is fair and transparent for the staff involved.

ENDS

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