MPI job cuts will impact biosecurity, food safety and fisheries

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Proposed job cuts at the Ministry for Primary Industries will decimate its compliance staff – and result in unacceptable risk to our most important export sectors, the Public Service Association says.

MPI has confirmed up to 49 jobs may go, including around 30 in its compliance team – around 15 per cent of its existing workforce.

PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says there are grave concerns about the process being followed, and is urging the ministry to return to the table to discuss a better way forward.

“We support attempts to streamline processes, but the Ministry hasn’t explained to us how these cuts will do that,” Mr Barclay says.

“Cuts to the compliance directorate could swamp the remaining staff with work, meaning that fewer checks are performed and biosecurity risks will increase as a result.”

Mr Barclay is inviting the Ministry to explain why it believes these cuts are necessary, and how they will deliver value for New Zealand.

“The proposed cuts will hit fisheries, animal welfare and food safety – and will damage the Ministry’s ability to investigate and respond to risks like a foot-and-mouth outbreak or a fruit fly infestation.

“The State Services Commission has told MPI it should not attempt further restructures, and we really need to hear why the Ministry is ploughing on regardless.”