Ministry of Social Development proposes cuts to 97 roles

Department of Conservation also cutting over 100 positions

Ministry of Social Development proposes cuts to 97 roles

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is proposing to cut 97 more roles to bring total job losses in the organisation to over 700.

The MSD's latest restructure plan is expected to impact 330 positions, with a net cut of 97 roles, according to the Public Service Association (PSA). The PSA said the impacted roles will come from its Strategy and Insights team, as well as from its digital transformation project Te Pae Tawhiti.

The proposed 97 job cuts are in addition to the previous 218 voluntary redundancies, the ending of 56 fixed-term positions, and the decision not to fill 341 vacant roles, Stuff reported.

Duane Leo, National Secretary for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi, said the cuts will impact the quality of service that MSD provides New Zealand.

"Right now, need is rising as the economy slows, and as our population grows and ages. This is the time to invest more in systems and workers at MSD not less," Leo said in a statement.

The official also questioned the cuts happening at MSD's s Strategy and Insights team, which provides research and evaluation of how MSD is performing and delivering support.

"The team is all about ensuring MSD is doing a good job supporting people. We've seen similar cuts elsewhere like Oranga Tamariki and Waka Kotahi which shows how poorly thought through these cuts are," Leo said.

DOC cuts 124 roles

Meanwhile, the Department of Conservation (DOC) is also laying off 124 employees as part of its restructuring plan.

The DOC's plan includes disestablishing 257 roles, where 114 are vacant, and creating 133 positions.

"The overall cuts to the Department of Conservation will impact its valuable work as an agency which safeguards our national identity and the conservation estate, the jewel in our tourism crown," Leo said.

He further warned that laying off employees will "inevitably create higher workloads" for remaining DOC staff.

"These cuts should be a huge concern to New Zealanders who support the protection and preservation of our unique natural habitats. Even more so to Iwi Māori as kaitiaki of our natural spaces," Leo said.

The proposed cuts at the MSD and job losses at DOC is part of the government's widespread cost-cutting measure, which has also impacted other organisations including Oranga Tamariki, WorkSafe, among others.

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