Boss tells staff 'don't work so hard'

16:00, Oct 08 2010

Daylight saving and "unseasonal extreme weather" are among reasons a state sector boss has told his staff not to work so hard.

In an all-staff email, Te Puni Kokiri chief executive Leith Comer said managers should allow staff "to come into work a little later, to go home a little earlier or to take a little longer over lunch".

The organisation had been operating at "an extremely high tempo" because of a heavy policy workload, the establishment of Whanau Ora and the Canterbury earthquake. "As well as this, the unseasonal extreme weather, the change to daylight savings and school holidays all lead to an organisation being under pressure."

His comments come during a climate of state sector staff cuts and edicts from the Government to increase productivity.

A spokeswoman for State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie said Mr Comer's decision was "entirely appropriate". "It doesn't signal that the public service is going on a go-slow."

Te Puni Kokiri acting chief executive Herewini Te Koha said Mr Comer had not told staff to "take it easy". "In fact it was in response to the pressure that Te Puni Kokiri has been operating in for some time now that he provided an opportunity for staff's collective efforts to be recognised in small and manageable ways, and without creating further budgetary pressure."

Te Puni Kokiri staff were involved with the Canterbury earthquake relief effort, including visiting local Maori and marae.

Public Service Association national secretary Brenda Pilott commended Mr Comer.

"It's great to see at least one CEO recognising the toll on staff."

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