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Wayne Mapp: Employment opportunity squashed

Employment opportunity squashed

Does the Maori Party want to make it easier for young people to get a job?

The Maori Party has said they are withdrawing support for the 90-day probationary employment amendment bill. This is despite the fact that the select committee hasn’t finished hearing submissions. I certainly understand they do not accept the bill in its current form, but the select committee process is intended to allow reasonable compromises.

Maori youth unemployment increased in the last quarter and is up to nearly 27%. The people who are having the greatest difficulty getting jobs have the most to gain from this legislation. The scare campaign which has surrounded the bill always fails to mention that probationary periods exist in all other OECD countries.

With the select committee process underway, there are still opportunities to amend the bill and I won’t give up on my efforts to secure a reasonable compromise. There’s still plenty to learn from submitters and the bill is still rated as a top priority for employers.

National remains committed to ensuring that those who find it difficult to get a job are able to get a foot on the first rung of the employment ladder. I would have thought with 27% Maori youth unemployment, the Maori Party would share that goal.

Remembering a leader On Monday I attended the funeral of Te Ariki Dame Te Atairangikaahu at Turangawaewae Marae. This was both a personal journey and a representative one.

I had the privilege of knowing Te Ariki Dame Te Atairangikaahu for more than twenty years. This was through my wife Denese who has been a principal legal advisor to Waikato Tainui since the late 80s. The opportunity for resolving the Raupatu land claims started in 1986. It involved court cases, Waitangi Tribunal hearings, and ultimately direct negotiations between Prime Minister Jim Bolger, Treaty Negotiation Minister Doug Graham and Waikato-Tainui. It is easy to forget how much of a leadership position Tainui, through Te Ariki Dame Te Atairangikaahu and the late Sir Robert Mahuta, was taking to achieve the settlement.

This was the first major settlement. Tainui led the way. They were able to do so because of the courage of the leadership within Kingitanga. This was leadership of quiet assurance and confidence in the future.

It was during this time that Te Ariki Dame Te Atairangikaahu consolidated her reputation throughout the wider New Zealand society. People intuitively could see her grace and mana. Over 100,000 people attended the tangi over the five days. It is 2.5% of New Zealand’s population.

At all stages Tainui made great efforts to be inclusive. The ecumenical service on the Monday was in Maori and English. It would have been easy to have a solely Maori service, but the Kingitanga has always promoted unity in New Zealand.

The prestige of the Kingitanga is not dependent on legal authority. Its mandate is purely one of moral authority. But it has endured for over 150 years. Te Ariki Dame Te Atairangikaahu will be remembered for her wisdom and humility. She will be remembered for her leadership during the dramatic transformation of Tainui over the last 40 years. She will be remembered for her aroha towards all people.

Moe mai, moe mai.


Qmac Platform Breakfast - Saturday 9 September 8:00am Kingsgate Hotel 187 Campbell Road Auckland Cost: $25 in advance; $30 at the door

Hear North Shore MP Wayne Mapp speak at the Qmac Platform Breakfast. He will be speaking on "The Importance of Migration on a Nation's Economy". Please RSVP by September 5. Bring your business card to be in to win the draw for a hamper.


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