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New Collections Structure At Ministry Of Justice Hits Small Communities

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A new Collections structure at the Ministry of Justice will take much needed jobs out of small communities and shift them to larger centres says the Public Service Association (PSA).

Ministry of Justice staff were briefed today on the final decision of a Collections structure review which will see operations shift from small communities to city hubs.

Although exact numbers of job losses are still unknown, management roles, call centre jobs and bailiff positions will all go under the new structure.

"The Ministry of Justice argues that this restructure is about business efficiency. Our members disagree," says PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

"This restructuring is not about greater efficiency, it's about the Government's agenda to cut public service jobs at the expense of services.

"This is just one of several reviews underway at the Ministry of Justice - just how efficient can an organisation be when it's under perpetual restructuring?

The new Collections structure takes bailiffs out of local communities and relocates them in centralised hubs.

"Local community connections and relationships are vital to a bailiffs' work. Having bailiffs travel long distances to towns where they no longer have these connections will potentially jeopardise their personal safety and the Ministry's business of collecting fines.

"Even by the Government's flawed 'frontline, back-office' arguments this defies reasoning.

"The PSA, in its submission, has succeeded in saving the Queenstown Collections Unit from closure but other smaller, more vulnerable communities will lose jobs under this review. That does nothing to boost local economies in need," says Richard Wagstaff.

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