Ministry of Justice proposes 11% headcount reduction

Ministry faces significant losses; advocates argue programmes will be impacted

Ministry of Justice proposes 11% headcount reduction

The Ministry of Justice is proposing to cut 11% of its workforce as part of the government's widespread cost-cutting measures in the public sector.

Justice Secretary Andrew Kibblewhite said the proposal will see a net reduction of 123 employees, with most of them carrying out national office functions, The New Zealand Herald reported.

But the full proposal includes the disestablishment of 178 roles, include 67 already vacant positions, and the creation of 55 roles.

Consultation for the proposed changes have begun last week, according to the Herald, citing the ministry's statement.

This adds the ministry to the growing list of agencies in New Zealand that are proposing job cuts as the national government seeks to reduce public spending. Other agencies that proposed cuts include the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, WorkSafe, among others.

PSA slams job cuts

The reductions have been met with criticism from the Public Service Association (PSA), which also warned the government of the proposed job cuts' impact at the Ministry of Justice.

"The changes as proposed will slow decision-making, and bottlenecks will grow as teams consolidate and managers become responsible for more and more," said Duane Leo, PSA secretary, in a statement.

"Worse, the government risks a less effective justice system as it cuts advisors who provide information and support to those dispensing justice on the frontline and who provide the expertise to deliver the improvements to the system that are so desperately needed."

The PSA recently took the Education Ministry to the Employment Relations Authority alleging non-compliance with their collective agreement amid proposed job cuts.

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