Paula is your mistress – your submissiveness is required

Stuff reports:

Child Youth and Family staff at a regional office have been told they are Social Development Minister Paula Bennett’s servants who should not trouble their master with concerns about their work.

In an email dated August 13 … Kaitaia CYF staff were told to show respect to the minister when she visited the next day.

“It is not appropriate for staff to pour their hearts and souls out to the minister,” a manager wrote.

“This is a formal visit and she is not your `friend’. It’s a bit like the relationship between a servant and a master, i.e. the servant knows their place. She should not be presented with the woes of the office, or lack of resources, or anything like that.”

So, CYF staff, you have to learn to know your place. Paula is your mistress, and if you forget that, you will be severely disciplined.

Um, isn’t the public service meant to be apolitical?

Peter Hughes is the chief executive of the Ministry of Social Development (which includes CYF). He may want to consider severerly disciplining the “servant” who gave such a politically biased and antidemocratic instruction. It is the democratic right of all New Zealanders to have a free and frank input to Government Ministers, regardless of whether they are public servants.


6 thoughts on “Paula is your mistress – your submissiveness is required

  1. I would suggest that the “manager” involved may well have been trying to paint my favourate flamboyant politician (just ahead of an ex one with dreads and skateboard)into a bad light.

    Unfortunately it has backfired on the manager.

    Sounds like there are “issues” in the CYF office the manger did not want to reach the ear of the minister.

    And yes, those “issues” should be aired by the staff to the minister, who will no doubt ask the relevant questions now that this manager has bought them into the public arena.

  2. Gerrit, did you even read the story?

    There’s no way this could’ve reflected badly on Paula, and if someone who couldn’t see that was trying to sabotage her image, that’s not exactly an issue we need to be worried about.

    Besides, from what I know from MSD staff there are enough bad opinions of the minister there already that nobody would feel the need to spread them in such a stupid way.

  3. Ari,

    Did I say it reflected badly on Paula Bennett?

    Dont think so.

    I said it reflected badly on the CYF office manager who by the sound of it has “issues”.

    As the minister will be around for a while (long I hope) those MSD staff who cant work with her better start looking for another job.

    Preferably in the productive sector as tax payers.

  4. I agree Gerrit. There content of the email is such that the Minister would not have orchestrated it.

    It is the bumbling and antidemocratic ramblings of a public service manager who does not want his or her shortcomings exposed to the Minister, and feared staff may do expose them.

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