Govt defends 'super ministry' merge of agencies

By Kate Shuttleworth

Economic Development minister Steven Joyce. Photo / Supplied
Economic Development minister Steven Joyce. Photo / Supplied

A new super ministry, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, will take effect this month and information on redundancies from the four agencies that have merged are yet to be announced.

It combines the ministries of Economic Development and Science and Innovation with the departments of Labour and Building and Housing.

Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce told Newstalk ZB today the aim of the merger is to get better alignment across a range of small agencies, save money and speed up decision making.

Mr Joyce said he could not predict the number of people who would be made redundant after the four government agencies merge.

He said he believed the only costs involved in the creation of the super ministry were $5000 for the signage on the building.

"All costs are in the baselines of the previous agencies."

He said the merge would save the Government $5 million.

The savings targets of the former individual government departments are to be landed with the new super ministry that's taken them over.

The Department of Labour's $223 million savings target now falls on the newly created ministry - nicknamed Mobie.

Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce told Newstalk ZB the same applied to the other departments that have been merged into the new ministry.

"What will happen is that the savings that were committed to under the four-year budget plans of the previous ministries will continue to need to be obtained."

Public Services Association national secretary Richard Wagstaff said it would be business as usual for about 3000 people employed across the four agencies but staff at the upper levels of those agencies were going through a change proposal.

"Change comes at a cost, it means people aren't as focused - they are worried about their jobs. They are worried about things around them."

He said it was an odd group of agencies to bring together.

- APNZ

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