Has Jacinda read her own Future of Work details?

The Ministry of Justice has announced that they are restructuring positions and making some available positions work-from-home.

Close to 100 government jobs will go as the Ministry of Justice introduces a compulsory work-from-home initiative, prompting concerns the move will snowball across other departments.

The ministry has confirmed a restructure will see 202 management and staff positions disestablished and 111 new positions created, along with fixed term positions as staff move to a “home environment” later this year.

In a statement, collections general manager Bryre​ Patchell​ said about 100 collections registry positions will move from office to home over the next 13 months.​

The restructure, which will mean specialist collections units at courts around New Zealand will close, is thought to be the first of its kind in New Zealand’s public sector.

Sounds like a good initiative; retaining jobs, just moving where they do the work from, meaning that some will have an advantage of working from home. Naturally, Labour is opposed to this.

Labour justice spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern didn’t buy the efficiency line, and said this came down to cost-cutting – at the expense of face-to-face service and staff morale.

“If they will do this for this department, they will do it for others,” Ardern said.

She feared staff were being forced into their homes away from supportive environments.

“It’s not being posed as something where they are being given the choice. If you are already working in a hard environment it’s a huge thing to have that person working in isolation.

“Overridingly, this is a cost-saving initiative.”

Labour just want to keep spending money, and any money spent is spent wisely and properly – according to them. But here is the thing…Jacinda Ardern appears to be saying that if you want to work for the Ministry of Justice then you must work in an office. She dressed it up with some gay-sounding airy-fairy concepts about supportive environments but the reality is that Labour want to be prescriptive.

This flies in the face of their Future of Work Commission of which Jacinda Ardern is a key proponent, helping her pal Grant Robertson do the heavy lifting.

Workers of all generations want flexible working conditions and a flexible working environment. Younger workers rate flexible conditions twice as important as other work factors. Yet organisational practices are lagging behind technological change. Employers are often concerned about the costs flexible work can create and the additional management skills needed. There are also negatives to remote working such as loss of career and training opportunities and social isolation which need to be tackled.

There has been considerable growth in digital work hubs – often called co-working – in our cities.  Many of these hubs and co-working places are in city centres with a focus on highly curated, collaborative, innovative spaces (Biz Dojo, EPIC in Christ church, Waikato Innovation Park, Dunedin Centre for Innovation). We need such hubs in our provinces too.

Right, so Jacinda Ardern isn’t reading her own party initiatives…and, in this case, doesn’t want flexible conditions for Justice Ministry staff.

Awesome. Yet another hypocritical policy stance from a Labour MP.


– Fairfax

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.