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Employment Relations Bill mess


Max Bradford

National List MP for Rotorua

National's Industrial Relations Spokesperson

Friday 11 August 2000

Employment Relations Bill mess

The Government's shambolic performance in Parliament late last night over the Employment Relations Bill reflects its whole approach to managing the New Zealand economy, National's Max Bradford said today.

"The Government has forced the House to sit under urgency - from 9am til midnight - to try to get its very contentious legislation passed.

"But the whole thing was stalled late last night as the Government tried to guillotine MPs debating some of the most contentious parts of the legislation covering collective bargaining.

"The Government initially failed to stop the debate on the collective bargaining provisions - because National, Act and New Zealand First supported by the Green Party to keep debating the serious issues in the legislation especially Clause 66.

"But instead of letting Parliament continue on and debate the changes the Government called in its Parliamentary "bovver-boy" Trevor Mallard to gerrymander Parliament's rules to stop the debate.

"And after more than an hour and a half of wrangling the Government got its way despite the majority of Parliament voting to keep debating the changes.

"The Government is gerrymandering the process by blocking Parliament's desire to keep debating the collective bargaining part in the Bill. Parliament has a right to oppose the Employment Relations Bill every step of the way. But the Government clearly doesn't want to hear the arguments against it.

"It's just a re-run of the Government's approach to listening to the views of small business and other employers. Its MPs refuse to listen to real concerns about the Employment Relations Bill and refuse to make the much needed changes to make it work.

"The Government's handling of the ERB has been a shambles from the outset. It is heading to being a shambles from beginning to end."

Ends

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