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


Te Reo o Te Tai Tokerau: Mapp Bill

29 August 2006

Te Reo o Te Tai Tokerau
A column by Hone Harawira
Maori Party MP for Te Tai Tokerau

Last week, the Maori Party caucus decided we would not support the 90-Day Employment Probation Bill introduced by National MP, Wayne Mapp, and that we would vote against it when it comes back to the House.

This was a big decision for us because our vote is critical to the passage of the Bill. In fact, without the Maori Party vote this Bill is a dead duck.
The Bill first crossed our desk the day it was due to be introduced into the House so we didn’t have a lot of time to think about it or get any background on it. Because of that, my caucus colleagues voted it through to select committee to get more information. It's common knowledge now that I opposed this Bill from the outset because it threatened to “suspend workers rights for the first ninety days.”

The Maori Party wanted to hear all sides of the arguments, and over the past few months we received hundreds of submissions, spoke to hundreds of people from all over the country, looked at the current legislation and analysed the arguments. Our decision was based on the following arguments: The Bill would take away workers’ rights, including, the right to be dismissed for a good reason, the right to be paid for work done and the right to redress for bad treatment.

The most vulnerable would suffer: young people with few skills; the tens of thousands of unemployed who want a job; the many thousands in low-skill jobs with no bargaining strength; and the hundreds of thousands in work who want to change jobs. And of course Maori, who make up a large sector of the unemployed, and the low-skilled workforce would be particularly vulnerable to this legislation.

New Zealand already has a good record for fair employment relationships, and the Mapp Bill would undermine the Employment Relations Act, and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

More importantly for me though, is my own experience.

I have been an employer for the last twenty years and there have been times when I would have dearly loved to sack some people in their first ninety days. But I know that good businesses are built on good people, good teamwork and good relationships.

I also know too that, for all their failings, unless we have unions fighting for workers rights, our society will very quickly slip into the third world working conditions that we tutt, tutt about when we see it on television.

This Bill is a recipe for the slave days and we’re all better off without it.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news