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Beehive Bulletin - 30 January 2004

Beehive Bulletin - 30 January 2004

Also available online at
http://www.labour.org.nz


Humanitarian cases from Nauru

New Zealand is to accept 20 humanitarian cases from Nauru referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The group includes 6 Iraqi women who may be joined later by their husbands. Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel says this decision was based on the government's wish to contribute to resolving resettlement needs in the region and was made prior to the recent hunger strike on Nauru. The United Nations consider this group to be particularly vulnerable and in need of permanent protection.

Birchwood Station to form centerpiece of conservation park

A huge country station in the South Island and haven for the critically endangered black stilt has been purchased by the government. Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced this week that by protecting the station as conservation land we are ensuring public access to recreational opportunities and ensuring the survival of vital habitat. The Williamsons, who have managed the land, will run the station until July and continue to graze sheep during the 5 year transition period.

Unemployment at 16 year low

Department of Labour Annual Reports show there were significant improvements in labour market conditions last year. All regions have seen a drop in the number of people receiving an unemployment benefit. Minister of Social Development and Employment Steve Maharay says 2004 is also set to be positive on the job front and that the New Zealand economy continues to out perform almost all of our trading partners, enabling more people gain secure employment. The report says economic and job growth will be moderate this year but that unemployment is expected to remain relatively low. Regional economies are strong and consumer confidence remains high.

New Training support for Pacific business

A new training programme launched this week by Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton will give Pacific business a boost by providing business skills training and support. "This new training programme aims to lift employment, management skills and business capability and we are committed to expanding Pacific participation in the economy," he says.

Children have employment rights and protection at work

Moves are underway to ensure children and young people are aware of their rights and legal protections at work. A review of children's employment began in October last year and this week the Department of Labour posted guidelines on its website for children and their employers. Labour Minister Margaret Wilson says the recent survey of child employment by the Catholic charity Caritas highlighted the ongoing need for vigilence to ensure that children are aware of their rights. She says that although the survey doesn't provide enough information about breeches of these rights that she is investigating claims of mistreatment.


ENDS

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