Ruth Richardson on Civil Servants

Ruth Richardson has commented on the need for civil service reform in the UK…she talks of our reforms here in the 1990s, but since those days we have seen a resurgence of troughing civil servants. New Zealand as much as the UK is still in need of proper civil service reform:

The real crux of the matter is – why should civil servants have jobs for life? The real life “slumdog millionaire” from Mumbai, who wants to use his winnings to take India’s tough civil service exam so he can win a secure and prestigious lifetime job”, is so typical of the species and the problem. And why shouldn’t they be accountable for their performance? A recent poll for the in-house Civil Service newspaper shows that there’s actually support from two thirds of civil servants to strengthen the ability to sack poor performance – proof that good people want to work with good people.

David Cameron might think that Whitehall reform is down his list of priorities. In fact it is the necessary tool to reinvigorate his reform programme and his Government.


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  • alex

    Too true. The NZ Civil Service needs to be more like the private sector with its expectation that staff should develop their skills by working with different firms, contexts etc. But it seems to me that the very reason some civil servants become such is because they can get a job for life and nest.

    • Gazzaw

      It’s a lot about management structure & culture. Some of the SOEs such as Mighty River Power rate right up there with the private sector. Some perform even better again under a mixed ownership model such as Air NZ. Bring on Partial Asset Sales – it’s not just about the economic benefits.

  • Mr_Blobby

    Have you seen the state of our civil service fat overweight retards? If not for there cushy jobs they would be unemployable.
    Somehow the word servant has been replaced with service. Not sure how you would call an organization whose sole purpose is to be part of the problem, a service.

  • Just Saying

    I think the job for life is fairly rare these days, in New Zealand at any rate, with most workers moving jobs every 3-5 years for a new challenge, increased responsibilities and higher remuneration. I have to say, Mr_Blobby with his crap spelling and incoherent rambling sounds like a disgruntled public sector reject – too thick to make the grade and reduced to spending his time sounding like a dickhead. But to his credit, doing an outstanding job of it.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    A person in the private sector will try and help/sell you. A person in the public sector will fuck you around. Govt, Councils, ACC are specialists at moving the problem to that ficticious person “Someone Else” Oh, Insurance Companys fuck you around as well unless you are buying policy

  • blazer

    the remuneration for the 7 CCO’s for Auckland City is a joke.Water Care CEO on a base of $630,000 and 120 staff on k100 and 19 on more than k200! talk about bludgers.