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Maori Party Vote Against Employment Probation Bill

Maori Party To Vote Against the Employment Probation Bill

Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader, Maori Party and Hone Harawira, Employment Spokesperson for the Maori Party

Wednesday 23 August 2006

The Maori Party today has released its position on the Employment Relations (Probationary Employment) Amendment Bill.

In a joint approach, Co-leader, Dr Pita Sharples and Employment Spokesperson, Hone Harawira, have informed key stakeholders of the decision the caucus has reached regarding the concept of probationary employment.

Dr Sharples was addressing a rally in Aotea Square in Auckland organised by the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union; while at the same time Mr Harawira announced the position at a forum convened by the NZ Council of Trade Unions to promote the Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.

“We have always said, that we wanted the Bill to go through to Select Committee in order to provide an opportunity for people to have a say on the concept of probationary employment” stated Dr Sharples.

“Our position, in voting the Bill through to Select Committee was to open up the dialogue, discussion and debate, for the public to have a say”.

“We had some key issues to consider as we reviewed the Bill" said Hone Harawira, Employment spokesperson for the Maori Party.

The Maori Party will always support any initiatives which will increase and improve Maori employment levels".

"We will always support the right for the rangatiratanga of both employers and employees to be upheld; and neither needs to be in opposition to the other. Both can co-exist in a respectful and safe working environment".

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"We were also keen to promote opportunities for Maori businesses to thrive, by enhancing proposals to be worker friendly” .

“These were all factors that we had to weigh up, when analysing the close to 1500 submissions that were received”.

“We were impressed by the quality of the submissions, the considered thought that had gone into articulating the views of employment lawyers, workers, employers and employees, businesses, unions, individuals, and family members” stated Dr Sharples.

“There are still outstanding issues such as how to address the drastic situation for Maori of joblessness and inter-generational unemployment; the reality that Maori, if they have a job, continue to be the bulk of the working poor; and the ever-present face of institutional racism.

“We will continue to advocate for initiatives to address these, but as for the Mapp Bill, our decision has been that we cannot support the Bill, and we will be voting against it when it next comes before the House” ended Dr Sharples.

ENDS

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