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Mapp pursues review of Field case by Labour Dept

Wayne Mapp MP
National Party Industrial Relations Spokesman

18 August 2006

Mapp pursues review of Field case by Labour Dept

National Party Industrial Relations spokesman Wayne Mapp has lodged an appeal for the Labour Department to take another look at the Taito Phillip Field case.

"The Ingram Report specifically notes at paragraph 363 that if any of the issues are to be pursued further 'that task must fall to some appropriately authorised authority'. It seems to me that the Department is the appropriate authorised authority."

Dr Mapp makes the comments in a letter to the Secretary of Labour Dr James Buwalda. The Labour Department has already refused to further investigate the employment relationship between Mr Field and immigrant workers.

Dr Mapp's letter reads: "I note that your review consisted of reading and analysing the Ingram Report, plus contacting Dr Ingram as to whether he would release any of his files. However, I understand you did not interview Mr Field or any of the people who worked on his various properties. Labour Inspectors have 'the power to interview any person at any premises...and the power to interview any...employee' under section 229(1)(b) of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (the Act).

"I now write to ask that you review your decision. The reason I do so is twofold. Firstly, the Department via the Employment Relations Authority has exclusive jurisdiction under section 161(c) of the Act to make an independent enquiry as to the actual nature of the relationship. I do not believe this can be done by the Department of Labour without actually interviewing the parties involved.

"The Department's inherent jurisdiction to make determinations about employment relationship problems generally is similarly shown in section 10 of the Minimum Wage Act 1983. It says that defaults on minimum wage provisions are subject to penalties recoverable by Labour Inspectors under the Employment Relations Act. Section 161(1)(m)(iv) of the Act confirms this.

"Secondly, the Ingram Report questions the authenticity of invoices for work done at 51 Church Street. This is noted at paragraphs 292 and 325. Once again, under section 229(1)(c) of the Act, the Department via a Labour Inspector, has 'the power to require the production of, and to inspect and take copies from either (i) any wages and time record, or (ii) any other document held which records the remuneration of any employees'."

ENDS

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