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The whittling down of the proposed job cuts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will result in minor savings with maximum damage caused to our international and trade relationships, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Grant Robertson.
“The restructuring process has been botched from the very beginning. Murray McCully must be held accountable for having caused irreparable damage to staff morale and confidence within our foreign service.
“We have already lost talented, experienced and dedicated staff because they no longer felt they had a future serving their country’s interests. And more will go.
"It is also not yet clear whether the 79 jobs that will be axed are in addition to vacant positions that will also now not be filled. The Minister must be honest and confirm whether that is the case.
“Murray McCully and his Chief Executive have been at loggerheads throughout the last nine months. Their handling of this process has been appalling. It has caused mayhem at the Ministry and at our diplomatic posts overseas. The failure to handle the changes appropriately has also embarrassed us internationally and damaged our reputation.
“Our diplomatic and trade staff are at the frontline of New Zealand’s effort to boost exports and trade so that we can have a prosperous country. This has been ignored by Murray McCully who is more interested in short-sighted, short-term savings than our long-term interests as a nation,” said Grant Robertson.