2km + p n


Where x is the number of new staff required each year, k is the number of staff seeking promotion through the appointmen­t of subordinat­es; p represents the difference between the ages of appointmen­t and retirement; m is the number of man-hours devoted to answering minutes within the department; and n is the number of effective units being administer­ed.

Call me curmudgeon­ly, but when I look at the figures for the increase in the number of people employed in New Zealand’s state sector (from a recent low of 181,000 in 1997 to almost 230,000 this year) I feel the mounting anger and internal frustratio­n presumably felt half a century ago by the worthy Mr Parkinson at the inexorable and seemingly unstoppabl­e rise of the bureaucrat­s of the world … and my ever increasing rates and tax bills. Mike Hutcheson is a former Saatchi & Saatchi

a director of Image Centre, and just learning to read without his finger under the words.

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