11 Apr 2024

Cuts at MBIE double in size to 286 roles, Culture and Heritage announces jobs to go

1:46 pm on 11 April 2024

The number of jobs going or gone at the ministry has more than doubled to 286, up from 111 reported in March, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has confirmed.

Further cuts were possible, it said.

MBIE employs 6650 staff.

An MBIE spokesperson said the 111 staff to go were in the first round of voluntary redundancies.

A further 175 full-time roles were disestablished between December and March.

Corporate services deputy secretary Richard Griffiths said the ministry was "actively managing" the size of its workforce.

"The removal of 87 of these roles was as a result of implementation of stop work notices, function disestablishment and legislation repeal."

Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment

MBIE has completed its first round of voluntary redundancies, with 111 staff already gone. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Have you been affected by the public sector job cuts? Contact ruth.hill@rnz.co.nz

Formal change processes were under way to cut the workforce further. It includes those in the Digital Data and Insights Group (DDI) and Te Whakatairanga Service Delivery group's branches of employment services, and engagement and experience.

"These proposals are subject to the formal consultation process. As these are active change processes we are not in a position to provide a confirmed number until final decisions have been made."

Applications for a second round of voluntary redundancy for those not in scope during an initial one closed this week with decisions to be made by 15 April.

"Further formal change processes are likely as we work to streamline and achieve further efficiencies," Griffiths said.

"MBIE is taking a measured approach to workforce reduction across our organisation.

"Retention of the appropriate levels of specialised skills and capability will enable us to continue to deliver to the scale and breadth of the government's work programmes and maintain service delivery to New Zealanders."

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Meanwhile, RNZ understands the Ministry for Culture and Heritage is set to shrink its workforce by 18 percent.

Under the proposal put to staff last Friday, the number of roles will be cut from 184 to 150.

Of those, 23 are already vacant, while 11 will be redundancies.

The ministry, which leads Government work in the arts, heritage, broadcasting and sport sectors, has also asked for expressions of interest in voluntary redundancies.

It has been approached for comment.

In another blow for the arts, the Film Commission is also believed to be facing job losses.

The news comes a day after the Department of Conservation announced a proposed restructure with a net reduction of 130 jobs.

Public servants' jobs are on the chopping block as the sector scrambles to meet the Finance Minister's cost-cutting targets.

Cuts are expected to be announced at the Department of Internal Affairs on Fruday.

Next week will also be a big one with announcements at large ministries the Ministry of Education likely Monday and Oranga Tamariki slated for Wednesday.