Back in the 90's, National cut the public service to the bone and sacked thousands of public servants. But because the work still needed to be done, the result was departments hiring the people they'd just sacked to do the same jobs they used to do at inflated consultant rates.
Fast-forward 15 years. National is back in power, and is cutting the public service to the bone. And so departments are... hiring the people they've just sacked to do the same jobs they used to do at inflated consultant rates.
Its an entirely predictable outcome, and one which renders any "savings" made purely nominal. Sure, they've got a staff member off the books, helping Tony Ryall make his "cap". But the cost of that is paying the same person two or three times as much to do the same job, while also eroding public service capability and professionalism.
Wouldn't it have been better simply to keep them on?