Peters: Foreign Affairs cuts will affect trade

VERNON SMALL
Last updated 15:50 09/01/2012
tdn winston
FAIRFAX
JOB LOSSES: Winston Peters says cuts to Foreign Affairs will affect New Zealand's overseas trade.

Relevant offers

Politics

Maori Party co-leaders warn the Labour Party's grip on the Maori seats is loosening Taking a sledgehammer to homelessness Bill English attends Ratana for first time as Prime Minister - and a day earlier than expected Christchurch City Council opposes plan to give district health boards power to decide on fluoridation 'Labour has to step up' for Maori, Turia says ACT leader David Seymour calls for action on housing affordability US scrapping TPP bad for NZ - English Sugar content too high in nearly half the drinks Kiwis kids can buy, study finds American ex-pats show their colours as hundreds protest Donald Trump's inauguration in Wellington Sam Sachdeva: Greens take the lead as parties prepare candidates for 2017 election

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has warned that planned Foreign Affairs job losses and the closure of overseas posts will cost more in the long run than they save.

It was announced last year in a State Services Commission report that the ministry was looking at slashing 200 jobs out of almost 1000 at the ministry.

An announcement on details is expected soon.

Mr Peters, a former minister of foreign affairs who negotiated a big increase in funding for the portfolio, said a "slash and burn exercise" would seriously affect this country's overseas trade.

He said the move was a "serious, retrograde step" at a time New Zealand was desperately trying to increase its export trade.

"At a time when our interests need to be seriously promoted and defended, this cost cutting exercise under the disguise of 'greater efficiencies and high quality services' is devoid of substance and reason.

"If you compare New Zealand's overseas presence with Singapore and Norway, two similar sized countries, you will see that we have less than forty per cent of their international effort," he said.

"This tinkering with our international interests and nonsense about setting up offices based on a hub with spokes will seriously harm our reputation and our trade."

Conservative estimates puts the size state sector at 1702 positions fewer than when National came to office as it has moved to cap and then cut the number of state workers.

That has seen the public sector shrink from 45,297 in December 2008 to 43,595.

Some of the deepest cuts since 2008 (including losses forecast to June 2013) are at Housing New Zealand (70 - 200), Agriculture and Forestry (241), Conservation (124), Defence (188), Inland Revenue (156), and Foreign Affairs

Ad Feedback

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Where do you stand on political coat-tail riding?

If it gets marginalised voices into Parliament, I'm for it.

I'm against it - if you don't get the votes, you shouldn't be there.

It's just part of the political game.

Vote Result

Related story: Voters reject riding on the coat-tails

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content