Working for better health care in New Zealand

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) is the professional association and union uniting doctors and dentists in New Zealand.

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A public business, not a public service

13 September 2018 Opinion: Geoff Bertram - Stuff

OPINION: Yet again, the neoliberal wrecking ball is swinging through New Zealand’s public service, fronted, alas, by Chris Hipkins whose laudable attempt (launched last February) to clean up the mess created by the State Sector Act 1988 has been captured by the high-paid top brass of the 1988-model state sector.

The result, released as a “consultation document” (available online at, boils down to a recipe for making matters worse.

Stripped of the glossy photos and spin-doctored rhetoric, the big central idea is to mount yet another attack on the venerable model of a stable career public service, organised into departments of state which took ownership of vital areas of policy and service to the public, and reported each year on their stewardship of that role to the people in plain-English narratives.

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