Audrey Young reports:
The number of public relations and communications staff in most government departments has dropped in the past four years – with some notable exceptions, including the Treasury – according to a Cabinet paper on public service staffing.
Overall, communications positions (full-time equivalents) have fallen by 14.34 per cent from December 2008 to last December, with some exceptions.
The number of Treasury communications positions increased from 2.9 to 4.9. The number of Statistics New Zealand staff increased heavily last year but that was in the build-up to the Census this year.
The Serious Fraud Office took on one position where it had none before, and the Department of Prime Minister and the Cabinet increased from one to two.
The Ministry of Women’s Affairs has had the biggest reduction in communications positions, from 5.2 to 0.9, a drop of 82.69 per cent.
* Women’s affairs 5.2 to 0.9
* Transport 9.4 to 3.5
* State Services Comm 5.7 to 3
* Environment 9.3 to 5
* Health 11.7 to 6.3
* Land Information 9.9 to 6
* Education 19.4 to 12.6
* Conservation 16.4 to 11
* Treasury 2.9 to 4.9
* Prime Minister and Cabinet 1 to 2
* Culture and Heritage 2.5 to 4
Overall a good trend. Government agencies of course have to have communications staff, but the growth in the 2000s was unsustainable.