A Labour Government will conduct a Royal Commission into the state sector to make sure it delivers quality public services to New Zealanders, with the integrity they expect, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says.
“Labour will rebuild core capacity in the public service so it can do the quality job it needs to.
“The National Government has gutted the state sector. The so-called ‘cap’ on core public servants announced in 2008 quickly became a sinking lid. After years of spending millions on expensive consultants and hiring back redundant staff on pricey contracts, the Government has recently attempted to reverse some of the damage it caused.
“Labour values the public service for the important role it plays in a democratic society. Public servants must be able to offer free and frank advice. However, under National we have seen the emergence of a culture of fear sparked by witch hunts for whistle blowers and ministers interfering in operational matters.
“A Labour Government will also ensure the public service consists of equally paid men and women who have the skills and institutional knowledge to serve ministers with high quality advice and effective administration. We will pay all core public servants a Living Wage with the right to join a union and collectively bargain.
“We will also make sure we reap the benefits of favouring New Zealand firms which will pay tax and contribute to our skill base. Government procurement from New Zealand manufacturers will increase by $200 million a year and from small to medium sized businesses by $300 million a year.
“Public services are critical in the building and rebuilding of resilient communities and should be available to all New Zealanders, irrespective of wealth.
“A Labour Government will restore pride back into our state sector so becoming a public servant is once again an exciting and rewarding career. We will rebuild a modern, flexible and courageous public service,” Maryan Street says.