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


Luxton Warns Farming Sector Of Labour's ECA Plans

27 AUGUST 1999


Food and Fibre Minister John Luxton today warned against the dire consequences of any industrial relations policy seeking to turn the clock back to the days of strikes and lockouts, saying it would seriously harm New Zealand's vital primary industries.

"Dr Cullen's hysterical outburst in Parliament yesterday was an extraordinary sight. Clearly National struck a nerve when trying to get to the bottom of Labour's ECA policy - unless of course Dr Cullen has something to hide," said John Luxton.

"New Zealand farmers and growers have every right to know what employment policies the Labour/Alliance bloc are proposing because they will directly impact on rural communities and farming families."

"Before the ECA was introduced New Zealand was paralysed by strike action which increased the costs to farmers, crippled our agricultural industries and destroyed jobs in rural communities."

"Labour wants to repeal the Employment Contracts Act so the union movement can revitalise itself and exercise more control over everyone's lives. Labour has no hesitation in returning us to the days when the milk flowed down the drain because of strikes organised by the unions in the middle of the spring and when the lambs weren't collected because of the strikes in the meat works."

Under the ECA New Zealand has enjoyed higher levels of employment and lower levels of industrial strife, than they did under the last Labour Government. Since December 1990 when National took office, employment has grown by over 18%. In contrast in the 5 years prior under Labour, registered unemployment increased by over 106,000.

Under the ECA, industrial conflict has fallen to its lowest level since 1935. In the last 3 years, work stoppages involved about 106,000 lost working days and about $14 million in lost wages. Under Labour's last term, there were 8 1/2 times as many working days lost (905,960 days), and 7 times more lost wages ($100m).

"The Employment Contracts Act has been hugely beneficial to the farming sector. It has allowed more flexibility, encouraged modern workplace practices, boosted rural employment and incomes and contributed to the growth of food and fibre exports. Why mess with success?" Mr Luxton concluded.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election