A new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment was announced by the Prime Minister John Key at an Auckland Chamber of Commerce function today.
The new ministry will “absorb the functions of the Ministry of Economic Development, the Department of Labour, the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Department of Building and Housing".
It will have around 3200 employees, making it a similar size to the Ministry of Justice. It will have a single chief executive but, according to a spokesperson for Steven Joyce - the current Minister for MED and MSI - there will be no overarching minister.
The new ministry will be established by July 1, with an acting chief executive responsible for integrating the functions of the new ministry.
In a statement following the speech Joyce, as Minister for Economic Development, promises the new ministry will “reduce the complexity involved in working between agencies and business.”
Any job losses that may arise from the merger of the ministries and departments have yet to be identified.
“Further analysis and planning is underway to help determine the structure of the agency pending a report back to Cabinet in April seeking a final decision,” the statement reads.
The government is citing previous mergers – such as Archives New Zealand and the National Library in the Department of Internal Affairs – as examples of efficiency gains that can be made by bringing separate departments and ministries together.