MPI considers shake-up

Last updated 16:54 20/12/2013

Relevant offers


Townsville media track down stranded John Key Mike Yardley: Legalising euthanasia a step onto a slippery slope John Key's plane is grounded in Australia until a replacement plane arrives to head on to India Free trade agreement with India won't happen overnight but John Key says it's crucial to get there Foreign fighters in the Middle East could return to New Zealand as Islamic State crumbles - John Key Minister welcomes NZ's first three way kidney exchange 'Australia has no greater friend' - what Julie Bishop really thinks of New Zealand Greens call on Government to 'call in' major gas-fired power plant under RMA Auckland businessman William Yan set to head back to China for questioning Stacey Kirk: Grim prospects for suicide, as conversation goes quiet

The Ministry for Primary Industries has confirmed it is considering a major reshuffle following claims from Labour that staff are upset at "blunt" restructuring proposals.

MPI new director-general Martyn Dunne said in a statement this afternoon that the ministry "plans to take stock of its current structure, processes and governance to ensure it is fit for purpose going forward".

"What I have announced to staff this week is the intention to investigate any improvements we can make to be better placed to meet future challenges and opportunities," he said.

Staff would be consulted on the changes which could see "shifts in alignment" though Dunne said it was "not an opportunity to downsize".

"Rather, my intention is to improve MPI's capacity and capability".

An enquiry released last week included 29 recommendations to strengthen New Zealand's food safety system, including the establishment of a centre for food safety science and research and increasing MPI's presence in overseas markets.

Three new overseas secondments were also announced, with two senior positions in China and one in Rome.

"This potential re-alignment will position MPI to deliver on the very important recommendations in this report."

Labour's Primary Industries spokesman Damien O'Connor said earlier today that the "last minute restructure... has left staff in tears on the eve of the Christmas holidays".

"Labour understands a major restructuring proposal has put to managers at MPI that has left staff shell-shocked," he said.

The proposed restructure was "being handled in a blunt and questionable manner" and was a "desperate attempt" by Dunne to overhaul the unmanageable ministry, he said.

O'Connor said this was the third restructure after earlier reforms in 2011 and 2012 saw more than 200 positions axed in an attempt to save $18 million.

"The common thread here is each change has been overseen by the same incompetent minister, Nathan Guy," he said.

"Nathan Guy needs to show some thought to ministry staff whose lives are in upheaval five days out from Christmas."

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, who took up his position in January 2013, said it was appropriate for Dunne to look into how the ministry operates and to implement the recommendations of the enquiry.

"Staffing matters are the responsibility of the director-general of MPI," he said.

"I'm disappointed that Mr O'Connor could be upsetting MPI staff by putting out misleading and exaggerated statements."

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media


Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?



Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content