National will lower the cap it set in 2008 for core public service administration jobs, and is eyeing further cuts if it wins a second term of office at the November 26 election.
National's State Services spokesman Tony Ryall said the 2008 cap of 38,859 full-time equivalents would be lowered to 36,475 - the current number of people working in core government administration.
Ryall said a National government would look to continue the move to find savings from back-office administration, and indicated further cuts in core administration jobs should be expected over the next three years.
Full-time equivalent job reductions should not be as large as in the past three years, with work done mid-way through this year suggesting there may be room for 500 further job cuts over the next few years, he said.
There was no floor for core administration jobs.
National wants the public sector to find NZ$980 million worth of savings over the next three years.
(Updates with chart, video)