Ministerial Staff

Every year or so, I like to compare the number of staff in ministerial office to see how it has increased over time.

Under Labour numbers blew up from 188 to 286 – a 52% increase. This included a 76% increase in communications staff and a 40% increase in portfolio advisors.

I divide staff into five categories, with descriptions of each here. Let us see what staff numbers were in May 2008, July 2009 and November 2010 (incl Pansy Wong Office).

  • Total staff: 286 to 277 to 272, so a 5% decrease on May 2008
  • Managers: 28 to 28 to 28 – constant a one SPS per office
  • Communicators: 45 to 34 to 39, so 13% down on 2008 but up from 2009
  • Portfolio Advisors: 111 to 112 to 113 – almost constant
  • Political Advisors: 35 to 42 to 36 – almost constant
  • Administrators: 67 to 61 to 56 – 16% down on 2008

So overall none of the growth seen under Labour – in fact decline in comms and admin staff. But what about individual offices?

  • PMO from 31 to 26 to 27, so 13% down on 2008
  • PMO comms staff from 10 to 5 to 7  – well below what Helen Clark had
  • Largest drop in staff – Tim Groser has gone from 10 staff in Jul 09 to 6 staff in Nov 10.
  • Smallest office – John Boscawen with five staff

The median number of staff is nine, and the median per category is 1 comms staff, 1 manager, 4 portfolio staff, 1 political advisor and 1 admin staffer.

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