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Ministry cuts 202 jobs, creates new ones

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/04/2016

The Ministry of Justice has announced it's getting rid of 202 jobs and creating more than 100 new ones.

In a statement on Monday, the ministry said about 100 collections registry officer positions would move to work full-time from home instead of an office over the next 13 months.

A total of 202 management and staff positions will be disestablished and 111 new positions will be established.

Some of the 202 positions were vacant and staff would be offered the chance to transfer to other roles, the ministry said.

It could not confirm how many people would take redundancy.

READ MORE: IRD shake-up to affect 1500 jobs

Collections general manager Bryre Patchell said most people paid fines online or over the phone so collections officers did not need to be in a specific location to do their job.

Staff found it easier to focus at home, which in turn made them feel more engaged and productive, he said.

"It doesn't matter where these staff work so long as they have a suitable space at home and they've got access to broadband."

The ministry said the initiative was not about saving money, but offering work conditions where staff "can perform at their best".

There will be no reduced counter service in courts.

The Public Service Association says about 90 staff will loose their jobs at court collection counters.

PSA national secretary Erin Polaczuk said the union wanted to know how the ministry intended to protect the safety of staff working from home.

"These specialist workers have access to highly sensitive information and we're not convinced enough has been done to guarantee their safety, or to safeguard the public's data," she said.

Waiting times at court counters would increase for those paying fines in person.

"Customer frustration and aggravation will mount, and already-stressed staff could be pushed to breaking point."

The changes eroded the credibility of fines as a sentencing option, she said.

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