The Labour Party says the National Party's desire for further cuts to the public service is the result of short-term thinking in funding and numbers of employees involved.
The term of the National-led Government was marked by job losses, consolidation of departments and trimming of back room costs.
National's state services spokesperson Tony Ryall said on Saturday public service spending could be cut by a further $240 million a year if departments would limit their spending to the average level.
But Labour says there has been no evidence of agencies and Government working together towards efficient and effective public services.
State services spokesperson Ruth Dyson says that instead, ministers have been making decisions about dramatic funding cuts and then forcing departmental chief executives to do something about it.