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Time For Employment Law Sanity

2 August 2000


United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the current debate on employment law lacks balance and long-term certainty.

"The two sides are as far apart as ever, and we seem headed for a period of 'tit for tat' employment politics between the left and the right, with whichever government is in power imposing its view, only for it to be changed next time around."

"That is the sad legacy of the way the Government has handled the Employment Relations Bill debate and is absolutely no way to run employment or economic policy or to give anyone any sense of certainty about where the country is headed in the long-term," he says.

Mr Dunne says he will be voting against the Employment Relations Bill because it is unnecessary.

"The Employment Contracts Act was working well enough, and could have withstood minor amendment to make it a little more balanced."

"The wholesale change the Employment Relations Bill introduces is excessively disruptive," he says.

However, Mr Dunne says that once the Employment Relations becomes law political parties, employers and unions should put aside their differences and work constructively towards a "new equilibrium" in employment law.

"The last thing we can afford is more wholesale change the next time there is a change of government."

"Yet that is precisely what the process the Government has followed with the Employment Relations Bill will ensure."

"New Zealand will not grow and prosper while we are bogged with such ideologically driven debates," he says.


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