NZTA to axe 24 more jobs

Photo: RNZ
Photo: RNZ
The national transport agency has announced a proposed further reduction of 24 jobs, this time from the engagement and partnerships team.

It comes on top of two previous announcements: 109 roles from the Clean Car Discount, Climate Emergency Response Fund, and Let's Get Wellington Moving projects; and 12 roles from the digital team.

It's part of a government directive for agencies to cut costs, and NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi asked to cut 7.5 percent of its expenditure.

NZTA people, culture and safety group general manager Caz Jackson said it was not approaching it as an agency-wide restructuring programme.

"Instead, each of our business groups is aligning resources with the available budget and priorities, ensuring a strategic and targeted approach to the changes.

"Consultation [with the engagement and partnerships team specifically] will run through until 6 June 2024. Following the consideration of feedback final decisions are expected to be made by the end of June 2024."

The proposed changes include disestablishing 57 existing positions, including 18 currently vacant, creating 15 new positions and moving 16 jobs to a different group within NZTA, for a net reduction of 24, excluding vacancies.

Workers' union Public Service Association said experienced staff working on road safety campaigns and supporting local councils were under threat.

Assistant secretary Fleur Fitzsimons said it was particularly egregious as it came in the middle of Road Safety Week, which involved hundreds of schools, organisations and communities promoting road safety awareness.

"These are just more mixed messages from the government which says it's committed to safer roads but is happy to dismiss the people doing the mahi to keep travellers safe," Fitzsimons said.

She said the engagement and partnership business group delivered road safety marketing and education programmes and supported local councils to deliver road safety education to at-risk communities.

"This group provides valuable support and resources to local councils, so how are they supposed to fill the gap and keep their communities safe with these proposed cuts?"