Statement from State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes

Unfortunately threats, abuse and even violence towards MSD staff is a daily reality in our country. In 2016 twelve staff were assaulted, there were 468 serious and critical security incidents and 242 threats made.

Threats, abuse and violence towards staff is completely unacceptable.

These staff are loyal public servants who are working hard to give services and support to New Zealanders who need them. They should not have to face threats and abuse and need to be kept safe from violence.

The safety of Ministry of Social Development staff is something I know Mr Boyle takes very seriously. I totally support him in his efforts to keep his staff safe.

Mr Boyle has advised me that he is reviewing the legality of pseudonyms. That is the right thing for him to do.

If the use of pseudonyms is found to be inappropriate, I will support him in implementing other measures to keep his staff safe and free from violence and abuse.

ENDS

Media contact: Charlotte Moffatt 021 935 713 or email ssc-media@ssc.govt.nz

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