Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 28/5/24

Nicola Willis brings us up to date with state service job cuts – while Tamatha Paul (is this overkill?) rails against a blood bath

Finance Minister Nicola Willis has estimated the loss of around 2500 jobs from the public sector during the cost-saving since the general election last October.

Another 1150 vacancies in Government departments have been removed from the books and 500 are expected to go, she said during the post-Cabinet press conference yesterday (the last Cabinet meeting before the release of the Budget on Thursday).

Willis did not issue a press statement on the public service job toll but what she said is recorded in the official transcript of the press conference.

For good measure, she has produced a video foreshadowing the Budget, which will be her first.

One News reported:

“As I’ve put together my first Budget, hardworking New Zealanders have been at the forefront of my mind,” Willis said in the video, which is set at night at the Beehive.

“Our Budget is all about you.”

Just one new post could be found on the government’s official website, when Point of Order checked what ministers have been doing.

Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced the successful repatriation of people from riot-torn New Caledonia had been completed.

Latest from the Beehive

28 MAY 2024

Over 300 people have been successfully flown out of New Caledonia in a joint Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) operation.

The figures in this statement show that – as of today – seven New Zealand government aircraft flights to Nouméa have assisted around 225 New Zealanders and 145 foreign nationals to travel from New Caledonia to New Zealand.

Winston Peters says it has been a complex but successful operation since the first flight on May 21.

“From the moment the international airport was closed due to the unrest in New Caledonia, we put plans in place to help get our people home.

“As soon as we were permitted by the French and New Caledonian authorities, flights were dispatched, not only to assist our people, but to transport foreign nationals from countries that had sought our assistance.”

People from more than 20 other countries were assisted on these repatriation flights including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, France and our Pacific partners Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga.

Peters visited the MFAT / NZDF Emergency Coordination Centre in Wellington today to personally thank those public servants working on the repatriation efforts.

He also acknowledged the work done by staff on the ground in Nouméa, particularly New Zealand’s Consulate-General and other staff deployed to provide support.

“We thank the consular staff both here in Wellington and in Nouméa, the NZDF for its rapid and efficient response, and the cooperation of French and Australian officials. As soon as we could help our people, we did,” Mr Peters says.

With regard to Nicola Willis’ public service job count, fair to say other numbers are being bandied – typically by politicians (dare we suggest it?) with an axe to grind.

RNZ has calculated nearly 5000 roles have been “axed”, or are proposed to go.

It quotes Wellington Central MP Tamatha Paul as saying public service job cuts are causing “carnage” in the capital.

This is palpable nonsense.

CARNAGE | English meaning – Cambridge Dictionary

Cambridge Dictionary › dictionary › carnage

the violent killing of large numbers of people, esp. in war: The Battle of Gettysburg was a scene of dreadful carnage.

Does Tamatha Paul seriously think there has been a blood-letting of this magnitude?

Fair to say, Point of Order had considered reporting on a public service cull.

But –


1. reduce the population of (a wild animal) by selective slaughter.
“he sees culling deer as a necessity”

We have used less emotive words. We suggest Tamatha Paul do the same.

Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tamatha Paul wouldn’t know which day of the week it was.