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Raihania fights for workers’ rights

MEDIA STATEMENT

Na Raihania

Maori Party candidate for Ikaroa Rawhiti

26 June 2013

Raihania fights for workers’ rights

Long-time fighter for worker's rights and Ikaroa Rawhiti candidate for the Maori Party Na Raihania has increased the heat on the Government to work with the forestry industry and worker representatives, to protect health and safety in the forestry sector.

"Three weeks ago our co-leader, Tariana Turia, wrote to the Minister of Labour. Hon Simon Bridges, placing health and workplace safety in the forestry industry firmly on the agenda. 

"The Maori Party took up the call from the Combined Trade Union for an inquiry into the forestry industry.   We're deadly serious about this issue - too many workers are being killed or seriously harmed in our forests,” said Mr Raihania.

"The Minister's reply ruled out an inquiry - but did make the offer to work with the forestry industry and worker representatives to achieve 'sustainable change'. The Minister also indicated a focus on 'early intervention' and a commitment for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to 'act swiftly' to ensure dangerous practices are stopped.

“Given the significance of this issue to Ikaroa Rawhiti I have indicated I am willing to step up to the plate, and do what I can to bring the parties together and prevent accidents.

“To this end, I will be contacting wood sector secretary for FIRST Union, Rawiri Daniels, to negotiate urgent talks within the sector and the Minister, in order to stop any more accidents occurring in Ikaroa Rawhiti.

"The Maori Party is in a unique position to exercise leverage in this issue, and I fully intend to do what I can to improve upon the high accident rate in the forestry sector which is making this industry so unsafe for too many of our whanau.”

ENDS

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