Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > Health and safety jobcuts? Haven’t we been down this road before?!

Health and safety jobcuts? Haven’t we been down this road before?!


Ministry cutting 135 health and safety jobs



Three things here…

(1) Sacking trained, experienced health and safety inspectors?! Haven’t we been down this road before?

Why yes – indeed we have.

In the early 1990s the Mining Inspectorate was amalgamated with the Labour Dept, and mines inspectors went from 7 to two  positions. And only one of those positions was filled to service the entire country.

The result was a shoddy and lax culture of safety in  mines – and on 19 November 2010, 29 men died as as result. (see:  Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy)

Mines Minister Kate Wilkinson took “responsibility” and resigned immediatly after the Commission report was released.

It was a faux resignation, of course. She ‘jumped’ before the Commission’s report forced Key’s hand. It was a cold, calculating strategy to minimise and close down media and public scrutiny of National’s past performance in de-regulation and reliance on “market” forces.

National does not seem to have learnt a single damn thing.

(2) The irony of sacking 135 people from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has also not escaped me.

Doublethink at it’s best?

I think so.

(3) The 135 sacked employees are expected ” to reapply for their positions through a rigorous process including psychometric testing “.

“Psychometric testing”?!

National is allowing government departments to use a technique that is controversial at best, and  voodoo ‘science‘ at worst,  to interview potential employees?! When  did this bit of hocus-pocus chicanery become State sector policy?

All in all, this is further indication of the mess that National is creating, and will leave an incoming government to clean up.




Previous related blogposts

Heather Roy – head down the mine shaft?

W.o.F “reforms” – coming to a crash in your suburb



= fs =

  1. Rob
    28 February 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Your front page keeps disappearing…

    • 28 February 2013 at 11:25 pm

      Possibly when I’m updating it…?

      I don’t have cause to update it until tomorrow, so it shouldn’t “disappear”… (Feel free to advise me if it does, Rob.)

    • 1 March 2013 at 3:27 pm

      Hmmm, I’ve started noticing it as well…

  2. 1 March 2013 at 7:36 am

    This govt is going more stark raving mad at every given opportunity!

    • 1 March 2013 at 8:41 am

      It’s hard to escape that conclusion, Allyson. I really can’t understand how they’ve forgotten things that are only 20 years in our past… *scratches head*

      • 2 March 2013 at 4:11 pm

        That’s easy. If the ideology tells them it should work then any evidence to the contrary is, in their eyes, wrong.

      • 2 March 2013 at 4:12 pm

        And, besides, it’s not as if they actually care – it’s just a move to decrease taxes while increasing the government guaranteed income to themselves and their rich mates.

  3. di\
    1 March 2013 at 8:57 am

    Frank, its the money. Be it cutting mine inspections which ‘waste’ government funds while discouraging exploitative and dangerous but, profitable, mining, or psychometric testing bought at great price from their ‘favoured’ consultants it all comes down to rorting the system so their mates can profit.

  4. 1 March 2013 at 10:57 am

    Its is all bullshit …………………….. the nats dont care a damn they know they are out next election so they intend to do as much damage as they can before we can them.

    • 1 March 2013 at 11:30 am

      I concur, Geoff.

      The real point is; will a new Labour/Green-led government undo the damage National has caused – and in the process actually make the systems better?

      As well as undoing and repairing National’s incompetance a new progressive government has to EXPLAIN to the people what and why they are reforming Key’s stuff-ups.

      Part of the problem seems to be a short-term memory when it comes to New Zealanders and past governments.

      • SpaceMonkey
        1 March 2013 at 1:21 pm

        The current Labour leadership, if they make it into Government, won’t make any substantial changes. I expect more neo-liberal b.s… just with a slightly different flavour. I hope I’m wrong.

      • 2 March 2013 at 4:14 pm

        The real point is; will a new Labour/Green-led government undo the damage National has caused – and in the process actually make the systems better?

        We can hope but I’m not holding my breath. And until the mention a solid policy of re-nationalising all natural monopolies then I’m not going to believe that they’re serious about changing the system either especially when they keep going on about growth and profit.

  5. SpaceMonkey
    1 March 2013 at 1:23 pm

    It’s pretty clear that this Government see the loss of lives due to poor health and safety to be acceptable collateral in the pursuit of cost savings.

    • 1 March 2013 at 11:09 pm

      SM – it’s almost like they’ve become more brazen since Colin Morrison died on a hospital waiting list in the late 1990s…

  6. Clive @ large
    8 March 2013 at 2:06 pm

    National never learn because all they care about is looking after their rich mates. They don’t give a shit how many die as long as big corporations make big profits.

  1. 30 July 2019 at 8:01 am

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