Jan 8, 2008

19 Public Relations, Communications, and Media Positions at the Ministry of Education???

One of the comments that really irks us here at The Hive is that it is impossible to cut or slow growth in Government spending without reducing the quality of service offered in essential Government services such as education and health. We know this is absolute rubbish but this is a key component of the Labour Party spin.

Katherine Rich has today issued a press release on one area where we believe that cuts could be made without compromising essential services. The huge team of public relations, communications and media people at the Ministry of Education. What role do these people perform? Do they in anyway improve the quality of education on offer here in New Zealand? And are these people playing a completely neutral role, or have their numbers been boosted to assist with the Government propaganda effort in an election year?

Rich is complaining that the number of staff in this area at the Ministry of Education has tripled under Labour. That is pretty bad, but why were there so many staff there in the first place? How could National have allowed six people to be employed in this area when they were last in power? We agree, that there is probably a case for one or two people to monitor what is being said and assist with communications work. But this is an area which will have gained hugely from improvements in technology. There is probably a requirement for fewer people in this area in 2008 than there was in 1999. No wonder New Zealand's overall productivity growth is so low.