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Bill Signals Much Wider, Insidious Programme

Sunday 30th Apr 2000
Richard Prebble
Media Release -- Economy

Bill Signals Much Wider, Insidious Programme

ACT leader Richard Prebble said the Employment Relations Bill was just a small part of disastrous changes for New Zealand's economy. “The Official Information Act document dump by the government before Easter reveals a much wider agenda. There are plans for an employment equity bill, a new parental leave bill, and significant changes to the Holidays Act,” he said today. “Helen Clark’s statement over the weekend that she does not trust the private sector to put equal opportunities programmes in place and will therefore legislate for it confirms this agenda. Employers who think the Employment Relations Bill is bad news are going to be hit by another range of measures that are hostile to their business," Mr Prebble said. “It’s not surprising business confidence is in freefall as employers learn that the radical union bill is just the start of the changes to the industrial landscape that they are expected to finance. “And Laila Harre and Margaret Wilson stating they will legislate for equal pay is just ideology. Employment statistics indicate that women are in fact doing very well in terms of participation, and women now out-number men as university graduates. “The government’s programme has more to do with the Prime Minister’s ideological commitment to radical feminism than answering any proven problem in this area.” Mr Prebble said it was also safe to predict that should any equity law be introduced on the basis of gender, Labour’s militant Maori caucus would insist that it be extended to race. “This is all going to turn running a business into a nightmare of political correctness,” he said. ACT is encouraging employers to make submissions on the radical Employment Relations Bill by Wednesday May 3. Information on the Bill and making submissions is available at ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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