Hundreds of jobs at risk and no end-game in Ministry of Justice restructure

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The Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi is dismayed at the sweeping changes and lack of detail in a proposal that could affect hundreds of jobs at the Ministry of Justice.

A consultation document about sweeping changes to the Ministry’s Operations and Service Delivery has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished – without a clear rationale.

PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says while the drive to improve work systems is creditable, there’s not nearly enough detail about the reasons for change – and the effects it will have.

“The Secretary for Justice Andrew Bridgman admits he’s often asked ‘how will we know when we get there?’ and seems to indicate there is no endgame,” Mr Barclay says.

“We have asked the Ministry to urgently provide us with details about how new roles will replace the disestablished roles, analysis of work streams and how the changes will be implemented.

“We need these to make a proper submission, but more than that, these are questions our members deserve answers to.”

Mr Barclay says the changes will disproportionately affect Māori employees, and it’s not clear Treaty partners have been consulted about changes to the Māori Land Court and Waitangi Tribunal.

“We are particularly concerned at the plans to disestablish many specialist roles in the Māori Land Court, resulting in the loss of hundreds of years of institutional knowledge.

“The changes also seem bizarre given Te Ture Whenua Māori reforms will drastically alter Court structures as well, and landowners have identified institutional knowledge as crucial.

“The PSA will be asking for an urgent meeting with Mr Bridgman, and plan to raise all these issues with him.”