23 Feb 2012

NZ's opposition Labour party says foreign affairs cuts should be from top

10:33 am on 23 February 2012

The New Zealand Labour Party's Foreign Affairs spokesman says cuts to the ministry's budget should be led from the top.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be releasing proposed changes to its structure and operations to staff today.

The opposition's Phil Goff says ministry staff looking at likely job cuts have a reputation for being competent and committed workers.

He says he'd like to question Minister Murray McCully on examples of his own excessive spending of MFAT's money.

"Why did you take an airforce jet to Vanuatu last year at a cost of seventy five thousand dollars when you could have travelled up there on commercial airlines for four thousand. Yes you've got to stop luxuries, you've got to stop misspending and that should start at a ministerial level before you start sacking core staff in the Ministry."

Mr McCully says the Pacific has nothing to fear from proposed changes to the ministry of foreign affairs and trade.