24 Apr 2012

Government to proceed with super ministry

10:55 pm on 24 April 2012

The Government will proceed with its plan to merge four agencies into a new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The new entity will take over the functions of the Ministries of Economic Development and Science and Innovation and the Departments of Labour and of Building and Housing on 1 July.

Confirming the move on Monday, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said there may be as many as 130 job losses as a result of the merger.

"Until you've done the design of each individual part of the agency you don't know how many positions you need and in what area."

However, there are already 84 vacant positions within the four agencies being merged into the new super ministry, which Mr Joyce says the departments are not currently recruiting for.

"As much as possible they'd be looking to make any changes by attrition," Mr Joyce said.

He is confident the super ministry will not only save money, but drive the Government's economic agenda more strongly.

Mr Joyce dismissed fears science and innovation might take a back seat to business, saying it will form a central and important part of the new ministry.