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Consultation Needed On Amendments To Bill

Monday 12th Jun 2000
Richard Prebble
Media Release -- Economy

A letter written by the Prime Minister on the Employment Relations Bill has submitters asking for an opportunity to comment on changes to the “radical” legislation, ACT leader Richard Prebble said today.

“What submitters are asking is that the Cabinet presents its amendments to the Bill in a supplementary order paper on which they can then make further submissions. It’s a perfectly reasonable request from people who have a great interest in the Bill,” he said.

Mr Prebble was asking for consultation on the changes referred to by the Prime Minister in a letter sent to all submitters on the Bill.

The Prime Minister sent thousands of letters to submitters on the Employment Relations Bill late last week.

“The letter itself raises more questions than it answers. Helen Clark doesn’t make it clear whether she’s repeating Margaret Wilson’s discredited claim that no-one would be forced to change their employment status against their will, which as the Bill is written isn’t true,” Mr Prebble said.

“Or is the Prime Minister indicating that the Bill is going to be amended? Likewise, is the Prime Minister claiming the Bill does not require confidential information to be divulged, or is she foreshadowing amendments? Is the Prime Minister trying to claim these are the only contentious items in the Bill? If so, Helen Clark does not understand this Bill.”

“The letter makes other false statements such as claiming the government has a mandate for this Bill. There is no mandate for the radical proposals in this Bill. The Labour party manifesto policy states that the existing industrial institutions will be strengthened, whereas the Bill abolishes the employment tribunal and replaces it with a star chamber.

“The letter really shows that Helen Clark and Labour are running scared and really have very little grasp of the issues involved in their own Bill,” he said.


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

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