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Labour Concerned At Possible National Library Lay-Offs

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Grant Robertson
Grant Robertson

Wellington, Feb 16 NZPA - Heritage protection issues need to be considered in light of possible job lay-offs at the National Library, Labour's state services spokesman Grant Robertson says.

A document sent to library staff revealed a proposal to "disestablish" 32 positions within National Library services in Wellington, The Dominion Post reported today.

While some of those positions could involve job transfers under the proposal , others would disappear, the document said.

Mr Robertson said the possible lay-offs were "a sign of things to come" in the public service and called for careful consideration to be given to potential effects of cuts at the library.

"It's vital the National Library has the skills and resources to protect New Zealand's heritage through its work collecting and maintaining the millions of items in its collection," he said.

Mr Robertson said the National Library could be the tip of the iceberg in terms of cuts in the public service and understood the Tertiary Education Commission and Ministry of Social Development were under instruction to slash staff.

If the Government was " sharpening its knives" over service cuts, it needed to explain to New Zealanders which core services could be reduced, he said.

"National needs to come clean if it is planning widespread public service lay-offs."

The jobs proposal at the library follow delays in getting $70m worth of expansions and upgrades at its Molesworth St site under way.

The delays follow down-scaling of the original design following cost blow-outs and technical issues.

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