Friday, June 24, 2011

Attacking 100% Pure New Zealand

We already know that National treats the idea of "100% Pure New Zealand" as a joke, a marketing slogan rather than a core value to be defended. And now we have more proof, with news that a hundred jobs are to be axed at DoC. DoC directly manages a third of the country, protecting the environment in our forests, conservation areas, national parks, and marine reserves. It is a core part of delivering that idea of "100% Pure New Zealand". Now, they're going to be expected to do it with 5% fewer people - and there are likely to be several hundred more job losses in the pipeline next year, thanks to National's unfunded devolution of superannuation responsibilities in this year's Budget.

I guess its all part of the great management lie - that you can "do more with less" forever. But eventually you run out of real inefficiencies to cut, and start slicing into core capability. And we're at that stage with DoC. This is their second round of restructuring since National came to power. They've already made cuts. Now they're being forced to make more, and more. Their overall workforce is likely to shrink by 15% in just two years. And that is going to have a real effect on the "frontline" - which means a real effect on our environment, a real effect on 100% Pure New Zealand.

But then, since when have National cared about the outcomes of their cuts? All they care about is scraping up more money to fund another round of tax cuts for their rich mates.

DoC are the defenders of our environment. They protect the kakapo from the rat, the kiwi from the stoat. National is stopping them from doing that job properly. Its shortsighted, its wrong, and we're all going to end up paying for it.