There’s lots of angst and apprehension on Wellington’s Lambton Quay after the unveiling of plans to close embassies, lay off hundreds of staff and outsource consular hotlines for distressed New Zealanders overseas.
The Herald describes this overhaul today as part of a proposed radical overhaul of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat).
And a further round of job cuts is looming, on top of yesterday’s confirmation that the axe is hovering over 305 jobs, including diplomatic and policy positions.
Mfat chief executive John Allen announced proposed changes that would see 169 ministry staff culled in New Zealand and overseas, as well as 136 locally-engaged staff.
That means the loss of 21 per cent of the ministry’s 1421 staff, in one of several changes that Mr Allen said would transform the ministry into a flexible organisation with improved expertise.