Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Kiwis have their say on work-life balance

Mon, 12 July 2004

Kiwis have their say on work-life balance

Kiwis want balanced lives, according to a report released today. The government considers how it might help achieve this.

Most Kiwis like the idea, but achieving a balanced life isn't always easy, according to a report released today by Associate Labour Minister Ruth Dyson.

The report, Achieving Balanced Lives and Employment - what New Zealanders are saying about work-life balance, summarises the consultations that a Work-Life Balance Project team recently completed. The report shows that many people face significant barriers to achieving a desired work-life balance.

"We set up the project a year ago in recognition that striking this kind of balance is a significant concern for many New Zealanders. We wanted the project to promote policies and practices to help people to achieve a better work-life balance.

"We want New Zealand to be a great place to live and work. This means people effectively using their energy and skills to participate in paid work, society and the economy. Work-life balance ideally means that employment relationships are conducted in good faith, with employers and employees able to talk constructively about these issues.

"We recognise that it is up to each person to define the 'right' balance for them, and in many cases, people will be able to successfully arrange this for themselves. However, in other cases, the government may have a role to play to help achieve this balance.

"I think government can play an important role in helping people overcome the barriers to achieving balanced lives. It can also lead by example, by addressing work-life balance issues for its own employees. However, achieving balanced lives for everyone will also require contributions from the general public, as individuals, members of families and communities, or as employees or employers," Ruth Dyson said.

The main barriers preventing people from achieving work-life balance are: · Lack of access to quality, affordable childcare to suit working parents · Difficulty for those on low hourly wage rates, who need to work long hours to earn enough income to support their families · Undervaluing of caring and voluntary work · Long hours and physically or mentally intensive work, without sufficient recovery time · "Precarious" employment arrangements · Lack of workplace policies and unsupportive workplace cultures · Pressures on small employers to "do everything" in the business, which impacts on their own work-life balance, and their ability to think about work-life balance for staff · The need for government to lead by example.

A number of recently-announced policy changes, such as the Working for Families package, will help overcome some of these barriers. The government is currently considering what else should be done and how to respond to the report.

"The government's response should be seen as a first step towards achieving the vision of New Zealand being a great place to live and work," said Ruth Dyson.

The report can be downloaded from the Work-Life Balance Project website ( Hard copies are available by emailing,


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election