The Public Service is working through the implications of the judgement and sentence in the prosecution of the Ministry of Social Development by WorkSafe New Zealand following the shootings in the Ashburton Work and Income Office in 2014.

"The judgement in this case has implications for customer service delivery across the State sector and the steps that need to be taken to keep staff and visitors safe," Mr Hughes said.

"The safety of our staff and the people visiting government service centres is an absolute priority," Mr Hughes said.

"At the same time we also need to ensure government offices are places where New Zealanders can feel comfortable and work constructively with the Public Servants who are there to help them," he said. 

"Brendan Boyle has my full support for the work he has done responding to what happened in Ashburton and its aftermath, and the leadership he has shown on behalf of MSD and the whole Public Service," Mr Hughes said. 

"Many people have been affected by the tragedy in Ashburton. My thoughts go out to Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland's family, whanau and friends, as well as the other victims and their colleagues," said Mr Hughes.

"Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland were committed Public Servants who worked hard to support their community and made a real difference in people's lives," he said.

The State Services Commission is leading work across government, including with WorkSafe and MSD, to respond to the judgement and its implications. This work will develop guidance for government agencies to help them consider and manage risks in their customer service areas while they make sure their service centres remain welcoming places for all New Zealanders. 

ENDS

Media contact: Tim Ingleton SSC (04) 495-6648

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