Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Mike's Minute: Some thoughts on the public service cuts

As the political battle unfolds with the public service over savings, it is worth remembering a couple of things.

As much heat as the Government is taking over the so-called cuts, and to be honest I am not sure that there is in fact a great deal of heat outside of Wellington, it might be worth remembering that the previous Government was the one who handed out the jobs like there was no tomorrow.

When you artificially stack the deck the way they did, you must in your heart of hearts know that it can never last.

So, what the current government is doing is not heartless but realistic. It was always going to happen, and if we were a bit more honest about these things, we all knew it.

Secondly, it has never ceased to amaze me how much work people take on without ever really asking the question about its long-term viability.

The media and its various trials and tribulations at the moment is full of people who have been seemingly genuinely shocked that the department or programme they are working for is closing, yet those of us from the outside looking in saw the writing on the wall months, or in some cases, years ago.

And that’s before you get to the debate, that I thought had been going now for years, and that is a job is not for life and hasn’t been for ages.

You will have many jobs. Jobs come and go, along with boards, and management, and mergers, and sales, and floats, and divestments, and changes of direction.

And then the bit that really hasn’t been covered at all, have a look at how many of the jobs being cut are a combination of jobs that simply haven't been filled, and jobs that will give you a cheque on the way out.

Voluntary redundancy has been, and in this case, is being widely used.

In other words, many of the people who are losing their jobs have stuck their hands up and said yes please, I’ll take that deal.

And I can tell you for nothing, getting paid to get out can be a revelationary and uplifting experience.

Doors open, opportunities arise, fresh perspectives become present, it might well be one of the best things that ever happened to you.

As in most things in life, the commentary we are currently seeing and hearing is very one sided and needlessly emotive.

Life is what you make it. The growth comes from the tough times, and not all tough times are as arduous as you might have thought.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings - where this article was sourced.

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