Roger Kerr asks a very good question:
Two things in my view are much more important than rearranging the bureaucratic furniture.
The first question that should be asked is whether we need parts of the furniture at all.
On coming to office John Key as minister of tourism abolished the Ministry of Tourism. Has anybody noticed or cared?
I am sure there are still many parts of the furniture we don’t need and I neither noticed nor cared that the Tourism Ministry had gone.
Second, instead of focusing on restructuring the bureaucracy (often by establishing advisory groups of bureaucrats), the government would do better to focus on leadership by top quality CEOs . . . The government would find that top CEOs would solve many of the problems of bureaucratic sprawl and inflated headcounts by themselves.
I am not among those who criticise high pay for state servants in general. The good ones earn their salaries and the best would more than justify their pay if they reversed the bureaucratic sprawl.
National has made a good start to reducing the burden of the state but there is still more to be done and good CEOs would play an important role in doing it.