These two ministries are so obviously important to the future of New Zealand and as a one of the biggest multicultural nation in the world. We are desperately trying to familiarize ourselves with our social upgrading from individualism to family life, from village life to nationalism and to globalization at present. Multiculturalism is demanded by globalization and we have to open ourselves in order to benefit from its golden fruits. We have been witnessed from the different walks of life for the contributions that Pacific Island People have made.
On the other hand, if the government fails to assist and enhance culturally, socially, educationally, economically etc. the needs of the new Pacific Island generation, New Zealand is predicted to face with numerous difficulties in the near future.
After the State Services Commission reports their discouraging review of these two ministries, the report revealed incompetence in policy and how these two ministries operate. Some of the high profile members of the parliament like Don Brash, leader of the Act Party believe that the ministry of women affairs should be abolished. Mr Brash expressed his disbelief in the Ministry of Women Affairs. He said he does not understand the role they play and what they actually do. Mr Brash did not comment on Pacific Island Affairs because he claimed to only know little about that ministry.
The main concern about these two ministries is mainly based on their big budget. Those who works for Pacific Island Affairs have got a salary of almost $20,000 more than other public sector workers. The other concern is the lack of improvement among Islanders. It has been realised the standard of living for Pacific Island People is remain unmoved from their previous position.
The need from the government to improve the living standard of the Pacific Island People has been hindered mostly by the current system. Almost everything dictates by money while the P. I people take the minimum wages position which consumes long hours away from home. The costs of livings are so high and it forced parents to both work long hours. When older children are legally eligible to look after younger ones both parents have no choice but to find a job. The very low minimum wages system gives them no choice but to work long hours in order to survive.
Despite the report, those working for Pacific Island Affairs were, on average, paid almost $20,000 more than other public sector workers.
The ministries remained safe in a recent shake-up of state services, despite the National Party having indicated in the past it would abolish women’s affairs, a ministry labelled a pointless legacy of the past by a panel of business people, unionists and lobbyists in June.
Act leader Don Brash has called for the closure of women’s affairs.
“I have never been clear on what its role actually is. It produces a number of reports but I can’t think of any policy changes that have been made,” he said.
Brash said he did not know enough about the Pacific ministry to comment on its effectiveness.
UnitedFuture said it would rename the department “gender affairs” but academics have defended the smaller agencies.
Auckland University of Technology lecturer Richard Pamatatau said the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs did little things well, such as promoting languages.
“It’s not a bad ministry, it just works with extraordinary constraints.”
He feared Pacific Island issues would be lost in a merger with a bigger ministry.
“If it was to be chopped out or merged then the whole country would suffer because the Pacific population is fertile, it’s growing. If you ignore that sort of demographic, there’s great peril there.”
Business NZ chief executive Phil O’Reilly said the answer might lie in outsourcing the administrative tasks that weighed on a smaller agency’s resources.
“They often lack influence in policy projects because they can only invest a certain amount of time and effort in policy because they’re busy auditing and running their own human resources departments.”
He said outsourcing those tasks might allow them to focus on making a difference to Pacific Island people or women.
Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs chief executive Colin Tukuitonga said talks were already taking place to make that happen.
“We could focus on the business-end and be as good as we can be, rather than being bogged down by an inefficient back room.”
He said he disagreed with some of the ratings of the “heavy-handed” review.
“I have expressed them to the reviewers and commission, but I have moved on.”
The Ministry of Women’s Affairs has already outsourced some administrative tasks to free staff time.
Chief executive Rowena Phair said it had made improvements since the review was completed at the start of the year.
“We have lifted the quality of our advice and our leadership team has a much sharper focus on the impacts we’re trying to achieve.”
Pacific Island Affairs
Poor gradings dominated the ministry’s report card – it scored positive gradings in just three of 22 categories.
Salaries were “significantly above” the public service average due to an “excessive” number of senior staff. The average salary was $83,700, compared with a public sector average of $65,179.
The ministry had a 40 per cent turnover rate for staff with less than two years’ experience – twice the public sector average.
The ministry struggled to gain the Government’s attention, partly due to its small size, reviewers found.
It was set up to act as a bridge between the Pacific community and government, and has an annual budget of about $6.7 million, and 40 staff. Reviewers said it was failing to lift the income and living standards of the Pacific Island community.
However, the agency was praised for its efforts in promoting Pacific languages, and the quality of policy advice had improved.
Reviewers criticised the management, work culture, financial management and policy advice of the agency, but did express confidence in the leadership. “It faces the usual problems endemic to small organisations – limited depth of skills and experience, second-tier staff with heavy management responsibilities and comparatively high corporate overheads.”
The review called for a “coherent direction” for the ministry.
“It has on two or three occasions joined forces with other agencies to consider possible co-location and shared services options. While nothing came of those exercises, it does seem to us to preclude mutually beneficial collaboration in the future,” the review found.
Women’s affairs has an annual budget of about $4.7m and employs 35 staff.
SOURCED FROM: www.stuff.co.nz