Thursday, 16 May 2024 13:43

MPI job cuts 'won't disrupt organisational structure'

Written by  Staff Reporters
MPI director general Ray Smith. MPI director general Ray Smith.

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) director general Ray Smith says job cuts announced this morning will not impact the way the Ministry is organised or merge business units.

This morning, the ministry which governs biosecurity, animal welfare, fishery and food compliance, and farming told staff that 391 jobs would be cut, up from the 384 proposed in March before consultation.

Of those jobs axed, 193 are already vacant roles, 65 are positions where people had left MPI since the start of the consultation, and 133 are current positions directly affected by final decisions.

“We have looked hard at where we can make credible changes, across a mix of programmes, people resource, and operational costs,” Smith wrote in an email to MPI staff.

“For the programme savings component, more detail will be released as part of Budget 2024.”

Smith confirmed there would be no reductions to frontline services or statutory roles like veterinarians, animal welfare, fishery and food compliance officers, or the biosecurity teams at the border.

“All affected staff will be spoken to today and will receive a letter confirming the impact on their role, the options available for them and next steps.”

Smith says MPI sought to reduce the impact on effected staff through holding vacancies, offering early redundancy, and retaining additional roles in some business units.

“Affected people will be able to apply for roles that have become available through the change process as well as existing vacancies that have been held during the change period. These roles will be advertised internally from today.”

During the consultation period, which was extended to 18 April, close to 1,500 submissions were received.

Smith says he and the senior leadership team were impressed with the time and care given to the submissions.

“We have continued to work with unions and sought their input on the resources and support available for our people,” he adds.

The changes will come into effect on 1 July 2024.

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