Good riddance, go already

A whole bunch of fat cat troughing bureaucrats at MFaT are crying into their state funded lattes this morning and threatening to walk off their highly lucrative and well padded jobs:

A survey by the Foreign Service Association of 312 staff – or about 25 per cent of employees – found 73 per cent of members working abroad for the ministry said they were either considering returning to New Zealand before the scheduled end of their posting or resigning because of plans to cut jobs and slash allowances.

Among Wellington-based staff, 66 per cent were less likely to consider a posting abroad and a quarter were thinking about resigning.

It has been revealed that lucrative allowances and subsidies for children and spouses can swell the size of a foreign-based diplomat’s pay packet to as much as $500,000.

Proposals unveiled last week include slashing those allowances, forcing 600 staff to reapply for their jobs and cutting 300 positions.

Good riddance I say. I’ll bet you their fat cat salaries and padded expense accounts that money will win over bravado. Phil Goff of course is pandering to the whingers:

“Who in their right mind would uproot their family, get their partner to give up their job, put their kids in education overseas on the basis that at the end of that position there will be no job for them?”

He had spoken to staffers he worked with as foreign minister and people were “distraught”.

“They are upset, they feel that the whole basis on which they began their career with the ministry has been totally undermined. They are disillusioned and they are thinking about their options to leave.”

This is precisely what happens in the private sector. Of course we can’t expect a man who has spent a lifetime in a sinecured position at the trough to understand that corporate staff deal with this in a constant basis. With attitudes like the MFaT staff and enabled by veteran troughers like Phil Goff it is little wonder the state sector is as bloated as it is.

Cactus Kate perhaps sums up best the real situation here:

The Union head states:
“The bottom line is that hardly anyone will want to serve New Zealand abroad under the proposed changes.”

Whatever. There’s no shortage of people wanting to work in this glamour industry. Their threats are pathetic. If they could get better jobs they would already have them.
Serve New Zealand? Nonsense. Soldiers serve New Zealand. MFAT workers are serving themselves to large perks and good pay. Perks and pay that are now under the spotlight.

Until McCully hits 100% unhappiness at slashing pay and perks he is a failure as a Minister.


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  • Hakim of phut

    Soldiers serve 3 months . MFat would be a 2 year posting. A big difference.

    Whats the bet McCully is the first minister forced out by scandal?. 

    Retribution  tip line  to ex FM Winnie  would running hot . Bring it on!

    • Greg M

       Who told you that ? I was in Afghanistan twice, the first one 9 months the second for 6.

      • Euan Rt

        phut the soldier!, watch out before he shoots himself in the foot….

    • Gazzaw

      You can hardly compare three months in Banyan province with two years in the diplomatic community in Tokyo. Ask the O’Donnell family what their preference would have been as a job option for their son. 

      Think before you write phut.

    • Super_Guest

      Your obsession with McCully is now beyond creepy. This suggests two possibilities:

      a) You’re some diplomat scared he’s going to lose his job doing nothing on the taxpayer dime.


      b) McCully rejected your sexual advances and now you’re bitter.

    • Pukakidon

       Hakim de Phuck.  Once again you are wrong, every time time you muppet.   Each time I deployed it was never less than 6 months and never in a cushy house on fat benefits.   Once again you are ill informed and unable to provide credible comment.   Your a liar.

      • Greg M

         Good call Don.

        Greg (CPOWT)

    • Tony

      What a prat,

      The normal operational deployment is 6-months that can easily be extended to 9-months. The Navy routinely deploys for 6-months and I have undertaken a 10-month trip in the frigate Southland. These do not include the extensive training periods prior to deploying – all conducted away from the family.

      For those personnel posted (vice deployed) overseas they are required to live at a standard measurably below their MFAT peers even when they work in the same Embassy!  (but there’s the rub: many MFAT pers consider themselves far cleverer than anyone else and they have no peers)

      There is no comparison between an operational deployment and loafing around an embassy. Phut – maybe you should “stand post” and serve your country on a two-way gun range – then you might understand the issues involved.

      By the way – during my deployment to Timor the MFAT officials regularly took leave in NZ – for about 2-3 weeks every two months.

      My goodness Phut you are a tosser! 

  • Apolonia

    Get rid of the bludgers.

  • Catwoman

    Your headline got me really excited for a minute there Whale.  Thought it was going to be a headline referring to Helen Kelly resigning!!!

    • Hakim of phut

      Or McCully !
      Earlier in the week, no one had any idea where he was, especially his boss John Key.

       Good news .There has been a confirmed sighting in Bellamys

      • Agent BallSack

        Unlike David ‘Invisible Man’ Shearer. Where does he hide during the week? McCully is a top ranking minister, I expect JK doesnt have to follow him around making sure he doesnt stink up the place, similarly, unlike Mallard

  • peterwn

    John Key has some decision making to do here. are ex ministers who are given ambassador postings (or other ‘trophy’ ambassadors such as Sir Edmund Hilary)  more successful with dealing with host governments than those who accept appointments as a normal ‘job’? It may be that MFAT can hire quite suitable on pay and conditions that an ex-Minister would turn up his or her nose at.

    As far as schooling (and accommodation) of Ambassadors’ children is concerned, should this be paid for by the employer or should an appointee met extra costs (eg a larger residence) him or herself. In this regard I do not know whether ambassador’s children have access to local state schools on the same basis as local residents.

    There is also the problem of whether NZ would be regarded as being ‘cheap’ by host countries. For example I think the NZ High Commissioner in London was provided with a Rolls Royce whereas Ministers back in Wellington had to make do with Ford LTD’s. However I think that it would be generally appreciated that NZ with 4M people cannot afford embassies, etc which a country with several times the population could.

  • Euan Rt

    What will phil do now when he is turfed out? Public titty options are becoming fewer for the bigger suckers.

  • johnjack

    Don’t be such a dumb prick, Cam. There may be ‘no shortage’ of people wanting to work in the ‘glamour industry’. They’ll be the ones with IQ’s less than 100 who think that the job is a glamour industry with chaffeur-driven cars, first-class travel everywhere, sky-high allowances, four-hour lunches etc etc. In reality it’s a job that demands IQ’s of 130+, (with multiple degrees and command of several languages), business-class travel only on Ministry business on flights of eight hours or more (just like the corporate world), and twelve hour days, often spent in ratshit environments.

    Grow up. Do some research; ie talk to the people involved.

    • ConwayCaptain


      I agree with you.  I was on  a SCONZ ship in Greece when the Ambassador presented his credentials and we got friendly with the NZ Embassy staff.

      I asked what their allowances were and this was in 79.

      They got  a differential allowance between the rent they would pay on a property suitable for their position in Welly and what it cost in Greece.  They also got a differential allownace for living.

      The Children went to the local American School and had been to a similar one in Paris on a previous appointment with their father the Ambassador.  I do nt hink that many of them live high on the hog from what I ahve seen.

      When I was Master of a ship I was friendly with the NZ Rep in Raro.  He had a nice house something like a Devonport Villa with a lovely garden and nicely appounted but in kee[ng with his posn as the NZ Rep.

      • GaryC

        I agree with you both! JJ and CC. Being a former armed services in RNZAF, there is much much more than just seeing this as a rort. Local allowances are to make up the difference between NZ and where ever you serve so you are not disadvantaged. Going off shore on GVT business is bloody hard work for most of the time. No such thig as a normal working day. Hasseling with local teachers and land lords, getting transport, educating kids in a foreign environment. Diplomats are representing NZ, and in my experience going back to the 70’s we have always looked like the poor cousins…. I say investigate the payments and allowances and check they are not out of whack with what is fair and reasonable.

  • Associated with several finding themselves in this “boat”. Most have multiple houses they rent out and damned grand houses they live in between postings – funded by us taxpayers while they live for overseas.

    • johnjack

      Absolute nonsense. Nonsense which you can’t substantiate.

  • Brian Smaller

    The families can stay at home in New Zealand and Daddy or mummy can be paid an airfare to come back every few months to see them. Be cheaper than having their kids at expensive private schools in around the world. The cost of educating MFAT staff kids would probably pay for a decent sized intermediate school.

    • ConwayCaptain

      Are you saying it should be like the days of the Raj where the kids were sent “Home” at 7 and didnt see Mum or Dad for 10ny years???

      It is better that the kids can have a stable education without being trotted round the world and uprooted from friends every two-three years.  It is better that they go to boarding school and then fly up to wherever the parents are.

      When I was at Cadet school in the UK we had a very large number of boys whose fatheres and mothers were inn East Africa and only flew home in the summer hols as in those days it took 2 days to fly to EA from the UK and you only got 2 1/2 -3 weeks holat Chris and Easter

      •  Agree absolutely – those I was referring to have brought up spoiled little shits who have no local friends and are now in local schools being picked on for their “alien” behaviour.

    • johnjack

      So how many people will find that an alluring career prospect? Most ‘MFAT children’ on posting go to the local English language school, and they are not ‘expensive private schools’. If they don’t travel with their parents they’ll probably have to go to a boarding school in NZ; this constitutes a form of cruel and unusual punishment which will deter any person from entering the service if they properly consider the future, and it will mean a level of expense which, if met by the taxpayer, will add to the Ministry’s current operating costs.

  • politically unstable

    My experience of expat environs is that it all looks fantastic from the outside…I still remember when air travel was a novelty but it soon becomes a drag and pain in the arse. There is good parts and bad parts to expat living. There will always be some elements or people that give it a bad review (as to over the top benefits) but as a generalisation, ex pat living is not for everyone. I was not in the mFAt though.

    It certainly did not turn my kid into a spoilt brat and he seems to have a good circle of friends…

    • johnjack

      Bravo! A voice of sanity.

  • Guest

    I had the misfortune through a work contact to encounter one of these soon to head off on a posting “diplomats” and still shudder to think about how rude, arrogant and up themselves this person was.  They might be slightly off their high horse now…

  • brian

    why worry about these people anyway
    once the govt has sold all our assets
    and shut down all our businesses
    we wont need them
    the chinese can represent us

  • Guest

    You would be very surprised by the allowances, me thinks that johnjack is right and it needs to be investigated. It should be publicly available information.  Overseas sucondments are one cushy number that will in most cases double your income.