Innovation 'super ministry' to focus on business growth

BUSINESSDESK: A new "super ministry" created by merging four public service departments will be established on July 1.

The government has confirmed the new mega ministry will oversee economic development, skills, innovation and science policy, which will be aimed at opening up new opportunities for business.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will proceed from July 1 and be headed by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce. 

It will bring together most of the operations of the Departments of Labour and Building and Housing, the Ministry of Economic Development, and the Ministry for Science and Innovation. 

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs will also be integrated into the new super ministry.

MSI is itself barely 14 months old, having been created from a merger of the Ministry and Foundation of Research, Science and Technology.

The reforms have sparked widespread criticism from elements of the business community and Opposition parties for their complexity in areas of significant economic policy need, at a time when policy action rather than restructuring should be the priority.

While savings are not the main driver for the changes, the State Services Commission suggests they will save between $7 million and $11 million a year.

Business New Zealand has backed the move, but director Phil O’Reilly warned the business community was watching for strong implementation, given the patchy track record of major corporate reshufflings in improving outcomes or costs.

Mr Joyce says the mega-merger “will assist the government drive forward its business growth agenda and make it easier for businesses to engage with the government".

“The government is committed to building a more competitive and productive economy that will grow more and bigger businesses so we are better able to afford the sort of society we aspire to,” he said in a statement with State Services Minister Jonathan Coleman.

“Our business growth agenda will make it easier for businesses and companies to access innovative ideas, markets, capital, skilled workers, resources and the supporting public infrastructure.”

Mr Coleman said medium-term savings of $7m to $11m annually through consolidating corporate services ($5m to $6m annually) and extra policy capability of $2m to $5m a year.

“It is envisaged the current separate agencies will form the initial functional units of the new ministry, which will then be further consolidated over time.

"For most staff the transition will be seamless – they will be doing the same job with the same pay and conditions on July 1.”

The transition is expected to take up to two years, with a “federation” of the four agencies under a single chief executive from July 1.

The four existing chief executive positions will be disestablished.

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7 Comments & Questions

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Mmmm
Another ministry and the costs to go with it
All theory and no practice

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The only answer is less academic beauracrats and more business advisors with a track record - not just the broken records they all currently hire

Fire the whole staff and start from scratch or it will be yet another disaster.

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When asked on TV tonight about how he can help with the job problem, he said through policy, he cited rumours of Australian companies talking of doing business in New Zealand as an example of how national party policies have created jobs already. In other words Steven Joyce thinks that additional regulations (restrictions) on business will raise productivity to the point where they will stop going overseas and will create jobs.

They are also promoting foreign investment by selling of state assets, they think that by having our assets owned by foreigners we will be richer. They are not selling their assets to become richer.

At least they are not the labour party, I heard phill goff say on national TV that they could raise additional taxation and that being able to raise additional taxation is wrong. He promissed to raise extra taxation and increase benefits. Phill goff was a member of the communist youth leauge.

I voted for New Zealand first, New Zealand First doesn't want to give all our assets away to foreigners and maori whilst retaining his private assets to make us "richer". He doesn't believe being able to raise additional taxation is bad. If you voted for NZF maybe the minister for economic development wouldn't think putting restrictions on businesses creates jobs...

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When asked on TV tonight about how he can help with the job problem, he said through policy, he cited rumours of Australian companies talking of doing business in New Zealand as an example of how national party policies have created jobs already. In other words Steven Joyce thinks that additional regulations (restrictions) on business will raise productivity to the point where they will stop going overseas and will create jobs.

They are also promoting foreign investment by selling of state assets, they think that by having our assets owned by foreigners we will be richer. They are not selling their assets to become richer.

At least they are not the labour party, I heard phill goff say on national TV that they could raise additional taxation and that being able to raise additional taxation is wrong. He promissed to raise extra taxation and increase benefits. Phill goff was a member of the communist youth leauge.

I voted for New Zealand first, New Zealand First doesn't want to give all our assets away to foreigners and maori whilst retaining his private assets to make us "richer". He doesn't believe being able to raise additional taxation is bad. If you voted for NZF maybe the minister for economic development wouldn't think putting restrictions on businesses creates jobs...

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Here's hoping the amalgamation of these ministries is done by the same genius who amalgamated Auckland. At least we'll have 3 less ministries doing absolutely nothing the way Auckland has a super city and no local government.

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New Zealand Trade & Enterprise?

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Agree, they should be in this if they are relevant. Probably another merger in 12 - 15 months.

Maybe the government wants to head the M&A tables.

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