State Services Minister Chris Hipkins promised in mid-2018 this Government would “reduce the reliance on expensive consultants and contractors, saving taxpayers many millions of dollars a year”.

At that time, the total spend across all 30-plus public sectors was just over $550m.

Failed to deliver.

Annual reviews show spending on contractors and consultants at 13 of the largest departments increased a total of 14 percent in a single year to $720m.