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Mapp Report: Helping People Get Their First Job

The Mapp Report

HELPING PEOPLE GET THEIR FIRST JOB

This week National signalled a key element of our employment relations policy; a voluntary 90 day probation period for new workers in businesses with fewer than 20 employees. This policy arises directly from my private members bill which advocated for a 90 day probation period to help get people started in their first job.

Getting the first job

The whole purpose of the trial period is to boost employment opportunities, especially for people who are looking for their first job and therefore do not have an employment history. The vast majority of New Zealand employers are small, and do not have the sophisticated HR departments that exist in large companies. Employment contracts and relationships are often quite informal.

Employee rights protected

Employers need to know they can take a chance with new employees, without the risk of complicated and costly litigation. Employees, of course, must have proper employment protection. If there is an employment dispute within the 90 day period, there will be the right to mediation, as well as the fundamental human rights protections which are already in place.

Catching up with the OECD

New Zealand is the only OECD country that does not have voluntary probation periods. It is time for the unions to stop panicking, and get with the rest of the developed world.

New Zealand cannot afford to keep languishing at the bottom of the OECD, behind Italy, Spain and Greece. It is time we took the steps needed to match best practice, including those of the much vaunted Scandinavian countries so loved by the Left, so that we can once again advance up the ladder of prosperity.

Sensible reform of employment relations law will make this pathway a lot easier.

OUT AND ABOUT

With Parliament in recess, this week I have been in the electorate. I have held public meetings, and attended various events. Among the events were the following:

North Shore Hospital

On Monday Dr Jonathan Coleman, MP for Northcote, spoke to a public meeting I had organised in Takapuna. One of the issues of most interest to those at the meeting was the state of North Shore Hospital. Being a medical doctor, Jonathan has a particularly acute understanding of the problems at the hospital, especially in the Emergency Care Department.

There are still far too many cases of patients having to wait for many, many hours in the corridors. Dealing with the problems at the hospital is a continuing challenge for the North Shore MPs.

Cycleways

Both Jonathan and I met with Greenfleet, the promoters of the cycleway and pedestrian lanes on the Harbour Bridge, currently being evaluated by Transit (which controls the Bridge).

Greenfleet’s plan has been refined to be more acceptable to all users of the Bridge. There are more wrinkles to be ironed out, but the proposition is starting to look more viable than the original proposal which would have seriously compromised the vehicle lanes.

Navy Museum

The redevelopment of the Navy Museum has been an on-again off-again project for many years. I visited the Museum and spoke to the Director on the latest proposal for Torpedo Bay. This has always seemed an ideal location for the Museum, being both an historic naval site, and a destination venue at the end of King Edward Parade.

The Navy currently lacks a high quality museum, unlike both the Army and the Air Force, yet the Navy has the advantage of being located in New Zealand’s largest city, and in a suburb which is very much a tourist destination in its own right.

The refined proposal seems to be both cost effective and deals with the concerns of local residents. It will tell the story of the Royal New Zealand Navy, as well as being an attraction for tourists visiting Devonport.

Friends of the Wilson Home for Disabled Children

Yesterday I went to the launch of the Friends of the Wilson Home for Disabled Children, which is chaired by Lesley Monk. Cam Calkoen gave an inspirational speech on striving for success. Cam, who has cerebral palsy, is a role model for his young peers on how to deal with disability.

Cam is a regular and extremely popular speaker to North Shore audiences. His essential message is that you only get out of life what you put into it. Difficult goals always take effort. Cam’s own life story is a demonstration of such commitment.

Dr Wayne Mapp


ENDS

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