3 May 2024

Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to cut 40 jobs, NZQA to cut 35

11:16 am on 3 May 2024
Open plan office.

Ministry of Housing and Urban Development says the cuts amount to 10 percent of its workforce (file image) Photo: 123RF

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is proposing to cut 40 roles, while the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and Kāinga Ora have also put forward job cut plans to staff.

Meanwhile, proposed job losses at the Ministry of Education have risen to 755 roles, with more cost-cutting measures announced.

It comes as public sector job cuts this week at the Department of Internal Affairs and Te Puni Kōkiri push the total number of job losses over 3700.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development said 10 of the roles going at its ministry were vacant.

Overall, it was a 10.4 percent reduction in its workforce, with final decisions on the proposed changes coming mid-June, it said.

Public Service Association (PSA), the union that represents public service workers, said the roles proposed to be cut include principal advisers and policy managers, and communications and digital specialists. It said further cuts were likely at the ministry in the future.

Kāinga Ora

PSA said Kāinga Ora was proposing to cut 130 roles net in proposals announced to staff on Thursday.

"The cuts at Kāinga Ora are rushed and ill considered, coming at a time when the country is facing a housing affordability crisis and before the results of an independent review of Kāinga Ora led by former Prime Minister Sir Bill English are known," assistant secretary Fleur Fitzsimons said.

The union said the proposal stated further cuts could be needed as a result of the English review, which was to be completed by March.

"The government needs to release the review immediately as this reckless approach to change risks disjointed decision making and creates more distress and uncertainty for staff," Fitzsimons said.

The Kāinga Ora proposal would reduce the size of the Information and Intelligence, Technology, and Organisational Improvements areas by 103 positions (by nearly 25 percent) and of the customer experience and practice team by three roles, according to PSA.

"The cuts are in roles like trainers, technicians, data and governance specialists, and service desk technicians, test analysts, project managers and coordinators that support the important work of the agency."


The New Zealand Qualifications Authority has confirmed it is proposing to cut 35 roles after the NCEA change programme was postponed.

Sixty six jobs have been disestablished and 31 new ones proposed, and 13 of the jobs going are currently vacant.

As of March, NZQA had 471 full-time equivalent staff.

Its chief executive, Dr Grant Klinkum, said the NCEA change programme delay meant over the next two years it would not help the development of new standards or provide quality assurance of draft ones.

It will also not do a number of other things including developing and marking externals assessments for pilot standards, and moderate internal and externally assessed student work.

Fitzsimons said 66 roles were being disestablished, with 13 of those currently vacant, and 31 new roles proposed.

"It is particularly worrying that the the Nga Poutoko Aromatawai Māori team is being gutted with seven roles proposed to be cut. This team is critical to supporting assessment at kura Māori and other schools offering Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, and those underserved by the education system."

Fitzsimons said NZQA played a critical role in making sure New Zealand qualifications were nationally and internationally recognised and respected.

The cuts would make that job harder, she said.

At the same time the NZQA announcement was made, the Ministry of Education confirmed to staff it had now been advised of change proposals or decisions being made across all the ministry's groups, the PSA said.

In total, there was a proposed net reduction of 755 positions across the ministry, of which 316 were vacant.

That is up from the proposed cuts to 565 jobs announced in April across its education workforce and Māori education groups, with 225 of those roles vacant.

"The scale of proposed cuts across the education sector is dangerous and damaging and should concern parents and everyone who cares about the future of our children," Fitzsimons said.

The rise comes from the ministry consulting with its digital and business services groups.

The ministry said all of its groups had now been advised of proposals, or decisions, for their teams.

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