State Services Minister Tony Ryall has confirmed the merger of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry with the Ministry of Fisheries to give one voice for primary industries.
“Ministers have agreed that the merger of these two organisations will deliver better results for New Zealanders by reducing back-office bureaucracy and lowering the cost of delivering government services.
“The merger is planned for 1 February 2012 to allow adequate time to engage with stakeholders, consult with staff and make the necessary planning and legislative changes.
“This merger is part of the Government’s ongoing programme to improve public services during times of increasing financial restraint and rising public expectation of service delivery.
“It will reduce duplicated and overlapping functions between the two organisations – and it will create an agency with better abilities to give support to primary industries.
It is expected that the annual savings from the merger will be at least $10 million, with further savings expected over time through merging corporate administration processes and rationalising accommodation. One-off costs of transition will be met from within existing baselines without impacting on service delivery.
Agriculture Minister David Carter says the move will give an efficient and co-ordinated voice for primary industries.
“Most importantly, it will provide integrated policy advice to better support the Government’s agenda for long-term economic growth from our primary producers. New Zealand’s future prosperity relies on the strength and productivity of our primary industries.
“The new agency will be better equipped to work with primary sector stakeholders, including iwi, local Government and international trading partners on regulatory, food and biosecurity issues.
“The merger will also reduce duplication and operational costs, and I expect a proportion of these savings will be shared with the sectors the agency works with to reduce the costs of doing business,” says Mr Carter.
Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley says the merger will lower costs and create an agency with greater capacity and capability.
One voice, improved capacity, lower costs – what’s not to like?
The only question is, who will be the Minister?