The Public Service Association says political interference is written all over the appointment of Labour MP Shane Jones to a senior Government fisheries post.
Mr Jones, who is leaving Parliament, is expected to take up the job of Pacific economic ambassador.
He was offered the position by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.
PSA national secretary Brenda Pilott said it was a very unusual move, as a minister is supposed to be hands-off on employment matters.
She said New Zealand has a politically neutral public service that is accountable to chief executives, not ministers.