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ERB - A 9 Minute Wonder For Submissioners

"The Labour Minister is being called on to delay the implementation of the Employment Relations Bill by two months to give New Zealanders a fair say on the Bill," Opposition Industrial Relations spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"The select committee has been flooded with requests from people and organisations to present their submissions and discuss their views on the Bill.

"About 420 people or organisations of the approximately 1,400 submissions received want to appear before the select committee.

"That means they'll have about 9 minutes each before the committee on the timetable approved by the Government. By the time they go through getting seated and introductions they'll only get about four minutes each to present their views and answer questions from MPs.

"The ERB is about to become a nine-minute wonder for submissioners.

"The submissioners who have already had their say to the select committee have had an average of 28 minutes each to get a fair hearing.

"If the select committee is to give full and proper consideration to the submissions we will need a decent amount of time to hear the views. That means we need to spend at least another six weeks hearing the 420 submissions.

"We can't do that if we have to report back to Parliament by June 20.

"The Labour Minister must take stock and agree to delaying the implementation of the Bill until 1 October 2000 so we can consider the submissions properly.

"There is a lot of suspicion about whether the Government will listen to the select committee submissions.

"They failed to listen with the ACC law change. Margaret Wilson has an opportunity to show some good faith and send a clear signal that the Government will listen by extending the implementation date of the Bill."

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