* Dr Bryce Edwards writes –
A parasitic blight on our democracy? Or a useful and necessary aid to our government departments? Those are two perspectives on the usefulness of the Wellington consultant class that contract to government agencies.
The role of business management consultants took centre stage last week when National’s Christopher Luxon called time on the over-use of “consultocrats” in his state of the nation speech. Luxon pledged to cut the use of contractors by 25 per cent off the $1.7bn that was spent last year by government departments and agencies such as Te Whatu Ora and Waka Kotahi.
Jackpot for National, disaster for Labour
The debate has proved to be a winner for National, as they have been able to dominate the last week in politics on an issue that very much has Labour on the back foot. At the end of the week, the Herald’s Audrey Young pronounced that National “has finally hit the jackpot” on the issue.
She explained how bad it was for Labour and the Prime Minister:
“it was the first time it had had Prime Minister Chris Hipkins squirming. No matter how much he said he wasn’t going to defend the rising costs of consultants, he had to explain why much of the expenditure was justified which, of course, was pretty much defending the rising costs of consultants. He was squarely in the frame as well because the ministry with the largest expenditure was Education when he was the minister.”
Continue reading “Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup: The Big “consultocrats” debate needs to carry on”