UPDATE: After outcry from local businesses, almost a thousand people signing this petition and submissions from the Public Service Association, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has decided to keep mediators on staff, although overall numbers will fall and panels of contractors will be introduced. This is a great success!
This campaign is supported by the Public Service Association:
The staff at Palmerston North, Napier, Tauranga and Dunedin Mediation Services (the people that help ensure workers’ rights) were recently advised by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment that they are to be replaced by a panel of contractors to cut down on costs. 
This is the same Ministry that was lambasted last year for spending $260,000 on a rooftop terrace and $140,000 for a fancy curved LED screen for their Head Office.  If the proposed changes from MBIE go through this effectively reduces the mediation services staffing from 38 to 18 full time employees and will mean mediators no longer undertake their regular regional circuits. Offices will be closed in these areas. These contractors might include current mediators but they would lose their employee status and all of the security that comes with it.
We’re calling on MBIE to retain locally based Mediation Services to ensure easy and affordable access to these important support services for dispute resolution by employers, workers and unions. Please add your name to this petition. We will deliver it to Parliament next week.
Here are four reasons we believe these jobs should be saved:
The Mediation Service office provides quick, accessible, impartial and professional services that enable workplace problems to be resolved efficiently and effectively. This is of great benefit to employers and workers in the region and is important for productivity in industry
It is important that the mediators remain employees of the Ministry and are not contractors. Permanently employed mediators are able to develop robust working relationships with the local business people and staff representatives. This develops trust and confidence.
The costs of being required to access services in or from Wellington could greatly undermine the viability of mediation services and force additional costs on participants. The time delays consequent upon this reduction in service will have an adverse effect on employers who require speedy resolution to workplace difficulties, and will greatly add to the stress and discomfort on workers.
This service is not expensive to operate currently and already produces high quality results, with an 85% resolution rate. Don't fix it if it ain't broke.
MBIE is considering privatising an important statutory function. Please sign the petition to support secure local jobs for people in Palmerston North, Napier, Tauranga, Dunedin and other centres.
Three regional mediation centres on the chopping block, Business Day, December 8 2015
Editorial: Stamp out MBIE’s vanity spending, The Dominion Post, June 18 2015