National accuses Government of “spinning out of control”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Apr 16, 2023 |

The number of communications staff working in New Zealand’s core public service has exceeded 500, marking an increase of more than 50% since the Labour Party took office, according to National’s Public Service spokesperson Simeon Brown.

He argues that the Labour government is excessively focused on “spin” instead of addressing the issues facing New Zealanders.

“Labour’s spinning is out of control, trying to cover up the cracks of their failure to deliver for the past six years,” Brown said.

He reported that the total number of communications staff and contractors employed in the core public service increased by almost 200 since 2017, hitting 532 in 2022.

Brown pointed out that this figure does not include agencies such as ACC, Kāinga Ora, and Waka Kotahi. He cited the recent confirmation by Te Whatu Ora (Health NZ) that it had almost 200 communications staff.

Despite a promise last year to review the number of people employed in government communications teams, Brown accuses Labour of still managing to increase the communications headcount by 7.5% between 2021 and 2022.

He attributed the bulk of the increase to Chris Hipkins’ tenure as Public Services Minister.

“Mr. Hipkins also infamously claimed that removing the cap on public servants would lead to less spending on consultants, but instead stood by as consultant spending rose by hundreds of millions of dollars a year,” Brown added.

He criticised the Labour government for increasing the number of spin doctors while services and outcomes continue to worsen.

Brown promised that, if elected in October, National would concentrate on reducing living costs, increasing incomes, building infrastructure, restoring law and order, and improving health and education outcomes.

“New Zealanders want a government that delivers services and outcomes on the frontline, not just spin. If National is elected in October, we ensure public service resources are focused on addressing the issues facing New Zealanders,” Brown concluded.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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