New Zealand merges Ministry of Fisheries with Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, citing need to reduce bureaucracy, cut costs

WELLINGTON, New Zealand , March 10, 2011 (press release) – State Services Minister Tony Ryall today announced the merger of the Ministry of Fisheries and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

"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.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority were amalgamated in July 2010.

"We will continue over the next few years to look at implementing policies and changes in the State sector that build a stronger economy, focus our resources, and get better results from the public service for New Zealanders," Mr Ryall said.

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