Much Ado about Nothing.

By John

Stand by, everyone. Excitement is in the air! State Services Minister Chris Hipkins, having caved in to the teachers’ demands, is looking for something else to do to fill in his day. The astonishing revelation is that he is going to replace the State Sector Act with a modern new law. It’s going to be the biggest shake-up of the state sector in more than three decades. He’s going to repeal and replace the State Services Act of 1988 with, wait for it, the Public Services Act.

Isn’t it enough to take your breath away!

Evidently, government departments and agencies currently tend to work in silos. I went to Wikipedia to find out a little more about silos and discovered among other things that they are potentially hazardous, and safety precautions are necessary. Not unlike having to deal with the establishments Hipkins is talking about.

Hipkins says the shake-up will create a unified public service. Translation: the creation of thousands more paper shuffling jobs. He gives an example where the Ministry of Primary Industries’ boss would need to work hand in hand with the head of the Ministry for the Environment to deliver on the government’s goal of net zero carbon by 2050. Apart from being a bad example, as getting together on that topic would be a total waste of time, Hipkins says they can’t do that under the current law. Why not? Have the public service not heard of mobile phones, emails, Facebook, Twitter, Skype or all the other means of communicating these days? Perhaps even a get together for a chat at a swanky watering hole at our expense? Why is it necessary to pass a law to talk to another agency to help achieve a goal?

Hipkins says principles such as political neutrality, free and frank advice and merit based appointments are important. Forgive me for thinking these morons don’t practice what they preach. The new unified Public Service would feature a cultural change, whatever that means. Perhaps it would mean a hongi on arrival, and long-held principles would be embedded into the law. I wonder what they are?

The Act will also recognise the responsibility of the Public Service and its Crown Agents to help the government to fulfil its responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi. Mustn’t forget that! Nick Smith quite rightly says this means the public sector will become more expensive with less accountability and more taxpayer money being gobbled up by the Wellington bureaucracy.

This is typical Left-wing nonsense. Here we have a man who has nothing better to do all day than play at being a policy wonk. Maybe he’s watched too many episodes of Yes Minister. Sir Humphrey Hipkins’ supposed earth-shattering transformation of the elephant that is the Public Service will change nothing. It will lumber on as it always has. After all, getting people talking to each other is nothing new.

At the end of the day the only obvious sign of change will be the sign with the changed name – from SS Titanic to PS Titanic. I suppose it’s too much to hope it will sink as fast as the ship.