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Action Of Nick Smith Immature And Illegal

"The actions of one of the parties to the dispute currently surrounding the waterfront industries in various south island ports, in leaking a copy of the mediators draft report to Nick Smith can be only be interpreted as an act of bad faith on their part, claimed New Zealand First Deputy Leader Peter Brown.

"This might well be the first real serious test of the Employment Relations Act, as one of the parties has clearly acted in breach of the Good Faith provisions. Worse still, Nick Smith has clearly exacerbated the situation further by attempting to score political points by distributing the draft report to the media.

"Frankly this appalls me. All politicians whether they like the law or not, or whether they voted for it or not, are not above the law. Nick Smith would do well to remember this. Nobody registered stronger concerns about aspects of the Employment Relations Act than I did. But it passed into law and I believe I must comply with it. The actions of Nick Smith therefore, can only be regarded as treating the law with disdain.

"The parties to this dispute were, and still are, negotiating in good faith. It is not over until it is resolved. The knowledge that a draft report exists is no reason, or excuse, to open it up for public scrutiny or discussion. With a final report it would be different.

"An essential ingredient in sound industrial relations is the ability to negotiate and discuss in good faith and retain confidences said Mr Brown, no matter how great the differences are. The situation that has now arisen highlights the difficulties when such requirements are ignored.

"I urge the parties to the dispute to ignore the ancillary mischievous antics of the politicians, and concentrate on the elements which will work towards establishing an enduring solution", concluded Mr Brown.


END


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