MFAT seeks art adviser as 200 jobs cut

17:00, Aug 26 2011

The Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry is looking for someone to look after its art collection – at the same time as it seeks to shed 200 jobs.

It has advertised for a part-time "works of art adviser" to buy paintings and sculptures for embassies and give advice on framing, hanging and caring for works.

The post, offering up to $30,000 a year, reports to the ministry's art manager, who will also work part-time. The ministry owns 2539 works of art, worth $3.8 million.

This year, chief executive John Allen said it was likely the ministry would "slim down" by 200 people as it tried to save $30m to $40m a year.

Labour acting state services spokesman Grant Robertson questioned why two people were needed to manage the collection.

"The Foreign Ministry has a lot of art ... and it does deserve to be looked after. But why do we need two people? An additional person ... seems very odd ... in terms of the context of what's happened."

Staff learned this week that 144 people would lose their jobs as a result of a merger of the agriculture and fisheries ministries.

The ministry said it maintained a collection in public areas in 95 buildings globally.

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