The Otago-Southland region has recorded the
second-highest loss of public service jobs over the past five
Figures released to the Otago Daily Times show that
between 2008 and 2012 the number of public service employees
across the country declined by 490, Otago recording 250 jobs
losses and Southland 112.
Those combined job losses puts the South second only to
Wellington (down 499), and ahead of Auckland (up 273) and
Marlborough (up 192).
''In my view, the South has been hit harder than most areas
and that is a travesty for the South, and it is simply not
good enough,'' Dunedin North MP David Clark said yesterday.
Questions for State Services Minister Jonathan Coleman
concerning the figures were referred to the State Services
A spokesman said
regional figures should be viewed in a broader context.
''While some regions have lost staff, others have gained.''
Public services job losses were offset by increases in other
regions, most notably Waikato (802), Bay of Plenty (231) and
''Staff numbers in different regions and between different
government departments shift over time.
''Staffing decisions are based on the need to provide
effective services to New Zealanders rather than maintaining
numbers in a particular region,'' the spokesman said.
Dr Clark noted that since the global financial crisis no
projects for new schools or hospitals had been brought
forward for the South, while the $14 billion to be spent on
roads of national significance had all gone to roads north of
''Yet the taxpayers of Otago and Southland continue to pay
their share of tax and we're simply not getting the
In addition, core public sector jobs in Otago had gone from
3.5% of the national total in 2008 to 2.9% in 2012, and ''we
are seeing [those jobs] disappear out of town ... This is
huge for the region'', Dr Clark said.
If the State Services Commission annual headcount figures
included other state sector agencies such as police, hospital
and education, the Otago and Southland figures were likely to
be much worse, he said.
While the Government had advocated for public institutions to
support regional growth, ''the Government is not putting its
money where its mouth is''.