Total roles lost at Ministry of Social Development set to top 700

Government spending cuts could see the Ministry of Social Development shed more than 700 roles in total with more proposed job losses announced today.

The latest MSD restructure plan impacts 330 positions, including teams delivering its critical digital transformation programme, and undertaking the analysis into how well MSD is delivering support to thousands of New Zealanders every day.

The proposals if adopted would see a net cut of 97 roles, taking combined job losses forced by government spending cuts to 712 or around 8% of its workforce. This includes voluntary redundancies, not filling vacant roles and ending some fixed-term positions.

“It’s clear the Government doesn’t care about the quality of service MSD provides to thousands of New Zealanders every day which will suffer when the impact of these cuts finally land,” said Duane Leo, National Secretary for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

“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.”

MSD’s Strategy and Insights team is being restructured with a possible loss of 28 roles. This team does critical research and evaluation of how MSD is performing and how efficiently it is delivering support to people to achieve the Government’s targets.

“The Government has promised evidence-based decision-making so how does cutting this team make sense? 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.”

Jobs are also proposed to go from MSD’s digital transformation project Te Pae Tawhiti.

“We’re worried about this as the programme is all about simplifying processes, helping people connect more efficiently online with MSD, ensuring they get the benefits they are entitled to, and help job seekers be better matched with opportunities.

“All of us are transacting more online, so we hope this doesn’t signal MSD stepping back from building a fit for purpose, future proofed, digital service which can better deliver to the thousands of New Zealanders which rely on MSD’s support,” said Duane Leo.

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