September 05, 2014
TPK reform about cost not vision
Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri says Te Puni Kokiri is going the wrong way and needs to strengthen the regions, not cut them down.
The Ministry of Maori Development is currently restructuring and has required its regional staff to apply for what will be a smaller number of jobs.
Chief executive Michelle Hippolite describes it as a flatter, more responsive structure.
But Ms Whaitiri, who is Labour's associate regional development spokesperson, told the Ikaroa Rawhiti Te Wero candidates debate it's hard to understand the thinking behind the changes.
"I can't see what the vision is for TPK but jump ahead in terms of what Labour will do. We're really keen to return government services back in regions as a way to put jobs back there. We're also looking at doing regional plans in partnership with local government, iwi and businesses and we're going to invest up to $200m initially over four years to grow sustainable jobs," she says.
Ms Whaitiri says the restructure, which come after a review process lasting five years, are just a belated response by Te Puni Kokiri to National's agenda to cut costs across government.
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd