The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has spent nearly $4 million on staff redundancies since its creation last year, compared with about $23 million hiring private contractors.
Figures released to the New Zealand First party under the Official Information Act show the ministry has had 71 redundancies with a $3.7 million price tag since July 2012. In the same period it has spent $23.5 million on 532 contractors.
The Government has campaigned on capping the number of frontline public service staff.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said on Wednesday the figures show that while the Government is getting rid of low-cost public servants, it is happy to pay for high-cost private contractors.