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Last updated 05:00 15/12/2012

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Seven Te Papa staff have taken voluntary redundancy while dozens more will have to wait until the new year to find out whether they will be redeployed or lose their jobs.

About 115 staff are thought to be affected in the employment shakeup, which has been hashed over since June between the national museum, its staff and the Service and Food Workers Union.

The union has estimated 30 staff will lose their jobs but museum spokeswoman Tina Norris said no-one had had a contract terminated or been made redundant yet. It was too soon to know how many, if any, jobs would go. "Redundancy is the last resort," Ms Norris said. "This is not wholesale redundancy - our intention is to redeploy staff."

Talks continued yesterday and 22 staff had been told they had been redeployed, while seven had been told their requests for voluntary redundancy had been accepted.

"In the new year we'll begin the transition to the new structure, which will be in place by the end of March," Ms Norris said.

This month Te Papa chief executive Mike Houlihan said the process was not about staff cuts, but about keeping pace with museums overseas, and increasing research and exhibition output. A "redeployment pool" of about 54 affected staff had been invited to apply for up to three positions each out of a list of 48 redefined or new roles. Those jobs that could not be filled from the pool would be advertised externally.

No-one at the union was able to comment.

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- The Dominion Post

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