Thursday, 21 March 2024 13:13

MPI 'forced' to make significant staff cuts

Written by  Peter Burke
MPI director general Ray Smith. MPI director general Ray Smith.

The Ministry for Primary Industries is facing the prospect of a 7.5% cut in its budget for the new financial year as part of the new government’s cost cutting exercise.

In an email to staff the Director General of MPI, Ray Smith, says his senior leadership team (SLT) has been working through the issue and have now produced a consultation document which would see staff numbers cut by 9%. He says this would be mix of not filling existing vacancies as well as the disestablishing other roles.

Smith says the proposals would see a net reduction of 384 positions, of which around 40% are currently vacant. He says they are not proposing any reductions to frontline services and statutory roles, such as veterinarians, animal welfare, fishery and food compliance officers, or our biosecurity teams at the border. But he says they are proposing changes to roles and reporting lines in other areas of MPI, including the disestablishment of some positions.

Smith says they will seek to place as many affected people as possible into alternative roles.

MPI has now put out a consultation document to staff and Smith and his SLT will immediately begin the consultation process with on-line and in person meetings. PSA and other union officials have also been notified.

The consultation period runs from 21 March until midnight, 9 April. Following consideration of consultation feedback, Smith and his leadership team will  make final decisions by mid-May.

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