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Maori Party expresses concern over 90-day trials

Maori Party expresses concern over 90-day trial extension

The Maori Party is concerned about the impact the Government’s plan, to extend the 90-day trial to companies employing more than 20 workers, could have on Maori youth and adult workers.

“The Government could be adding even more salt to the wounds of Maori youth who are already finding it hard to get jobs,” Mr Flavell said.

“This country is facing an unemployment crisis, particularly among Maori and Pacific youth, so the Government should be focusing on ways to get them into work, and keeping them there, rather than making it easier for big business to boot them out.

“Our party will be vigorously opposing any move that further marginalises our youth, especially given the current unemployment crisis.”

The level of Maori youth who have participated in the workforce, between March this year and last year, when the scheme came to effect, has dropped by 1.5%. Over that same time, the Maori youth unemployment rate has increased by 6.4% to 27.7%.

“For any person to say this will be good for Maori unemployed is disingenuous,” Mr Flavell said.

"Our particular concern will be about the impact of including big business in the scheme, for young Maori in the cities. What message do we send to them if we force them into a merry-go-round of trial jobs?”

As at May 21 there were some 2309 Maori youth jobseekers in Auckland and another 538 in Wellington.

The Maori Party voted against the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, which introduced trial employment periods for new employees of small and medium size businesses, when it came before the House in December 2008.

ENDS

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