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Justice Sector Latest To Come Under The Razor Gangs Gaze

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Grant Robertson
Grant Robertson

Wellington, March 11 NZPA - A wide-ranging review of justice sector operations is underway, Labour MP Grant Robertson revealed today.

Mr Robertson released the terms of reference for the review which showed preliminary decisions are to be made by the end of March.

It is well known that the Government is reviewing all of the public sector as it looks to make cuts to areas of low priority, but few details of the process have been made public.

The Justice Ministry paper said the review was to "improve the consistency and effectiveness" of operations and make them as efficient "as possible in the present economic environment".

Three areas would be looked at for "optimal design":

* District Courts' regional management structure;

* Collections field management structure; and

* Support services in the national office, district courts, collections and special jurisdictions.

The reviews would look at number of management staff and their structure in courts and collections, support staff in special courts and head office.

Those exempted from the review included staff in the fines contact centre, bailiffs, the courts transcript service and the judicial libraries.

The preliminary review findings are due at the end of March with staff consultation following before decisions are announced in May.

The Justice Ministry is responsible for around 3000 staff, but it is not known how many were covered in the review.

Mr Robertson said the cuts at the ministry look set to hit front line staff.

"The discovery of potential cut backs at the Justice Ministry comes hard on the heals of yesterday's announcement of staff cuts at the Environment Ministry, Tertiary Education Commission, possible cut backs at the Social Development Ministry and the National Library," Mr Robertson said.

"It's clear that National Government regards public servants as second-class citizens who are easily dispensed with. What they fail to recognise is that these public servants are people who have children to support, mortgages to pay and food to buy."

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