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Exploring labour, employment and work issues in New Zealand


16 November 2012


Exploring labour, employment and work issues in New Zealand

At a time of increasing unemployment rates in New Zealand, researchers at Victoria University are bringing together experts to discuss topical employment issues and trends in Australasia.

Victoria’s Industrial Relations Centre, in partnership with the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, will host the fifteenth Conference on Labour, Employment and Work in New Zealand in Wellington on 19—20 November.

Topical issues including youth unemployment and welfare, labour market trends, wage subsidies and a living wage, migration patterns of New Zealand graduates, and sexuality and gender in the workplace will make up the two-day programme.

Associate Professor Deborah Jones from Victoria’s School of Management will chair a workshop titled ‘Out at work: Sexual orientation and gender minorities in the New Zealand workplace’.

Dr Jones says that there is still very little research on gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and transgender (GLBTT) workers’ experiences in New Zealand. “The purpose of this panel is to make a positive contribution to a more inclusive workplace for GLBTT employees by discussing their experiences, and employer responses.”

Another highlight will be the workshop ‘Beyond the ‘Hobbit wars’: Work and workers in the New Zealand film industry’, which draws on research into the experiences of film industry workers, and involves researchers who have looked more specifically at the dispute between the makers of The Hobbit film and an actors' union in 2010.

The final seminar focusing on workplace safety systems in New Zealand is open to the public at no charge. Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety member Paul Mackay will present an update of the work of the Taskforce, followed by commentaries by David Feickert and Nicholas Davidson QC, both of whom have been closely involved with Pike River Royal Commission.

During the conference, experts will discuss unemployment and underutilisation of the labour force; internal and external migration; union organising and collective voice in the workplace; and occupational health and safety.

Many of the papers being presented are the result of research in government departments including the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Treasury and Statistics New Zealand.

All welcome. Full programme attached.

Conference details and registration information

When: 19—20 November 2012

Where: Rutherford House, 23 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Cost: $385

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