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Working Children Bill Defeated

A bill which would have deemed working children to be employees and not contractors was shot down at its first appearance in Parliament today

The Employment Relations (Protection of Young Workers) Amendment Bill was defeated by 58 to 61 with National, ACT and United Future opposed.

The bill’s sponsor Rino Tirikatene says the bill intended to ensure that children who did part-time work were considered as employees and not contractors.

Tirikatene said child workers, such as leaflet deliverers, were being exploited with low pay and cuts to their pay. This bill, he said, would give them protections from work place injury and employer mistreatment.

Tirikatene provoked some scorn from National when he said employment for children had little changed from the times when nine year olds were made to claim chimen

David Bennett provoked equal scorn from the Labour benches when he claimed it was using children as an excuse to remove people’s choice about being an employee or a contractor.

``You are dumbing down the labour force of New Zealand, just for the sake of Labour party control, Bennett said.

The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 (Application to Casinos) Amendment Bill was also voted down at first reading with National, ACT and United Future opposing 57 to 61.

Earlier the Waitaki District Council Reserves and Other Land Empowering Bill completed its committee stage with the Greens, NZ First and Mana opposing some parts of the bill, and the South Taranaki District Council (Cold Creek Rural Water Supply) Bill passed its second reading by 102 to 16 with the Greens, Maori Party and Mana opposing.


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