Parliament

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

 

Employment Relations Amendment Bill (no 2)

Employment Relations Amendment Bill (no 2)

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Rahui Katene, MP for Te Tai Tonga

If one was to look at the explanatory note to this bill, the general policy statement comes across as extremely positive.

It tells us that the purpose of the Bill is to provide more flexibility, greater choice, and ensure a balance of fairness for both employers and employees in the principal Act while improving its overall operation and efficiency.

Now when we turn to the Maori Party employment relations policy, it would appear that there is considerable room for comfort, if we were to look at our policy and this proposed bill, all things being equal.

Our policy states that we will support the right for employees to be treated fairly and with dignity and to a safe and healthy workplace.

But the key statement is – all things being equal.

And I want to refer to the comments from a submission from Te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa – the Tertiary Education Union of Aotearoa.

This amendment will further turn the balance of power away from employees, in particular young and vulnerable employees, and those employed in low unionised work sites.

Basically, the bill will allow employers to dismiss employees without reason or justification, clearly contradicting the concept of ‘natural justice’ built up in New Zealand employment law over time through case law.

Ok, so let’s just look at the current situation for these young and vulnerable employees that Te Hautu Kahurangi refers to.

And then I think about the things that our membership raises with us when they talk about employment matters.

They talk about trade training and work experience – how we can support our young people into secure and sustainable employment.

They come to us with some amazing ideas – things like a skills barter system within communities. This would work something along the lines of a carpenter trades some of his or her skills for the skill of a plasterer and vica versa.

Our members call on us to reduce unemployment amongst Maori.

They ask us to fight anti-worker legislation.

But guess what - they don’t ask us to extend trial periods to all employers; they don’t ask us to specify the role and enforcement powers of Labour Inspectors.

They want us to have a mechanism in place by which we resolve employment problems more quickly, and more efficiently.

And of course we want to be more effective in restoring the confidence of all parties in various aspects of the employment relationships such as the personal grievance system.

We want to do this, so that the negative impact of these problems on workplace productivity will be reduced.

But we also want to talk about the things that really matter to us – the things that we as a party believe is critical for us to advance – and it has to be employment opportunities for our young people.

If you look at the demographic profile of our population; we know that one in four babies born are born into a tangata whenua home.

But if we look a bit further down the life cycle, we find that at the latest quarter; unemployment for Maori 15-24 year olds has risen from 26.7% to 26.8% over the year and for our Pasifika young people, it has risen from 27.9% to 29.8% over that same time.

While in comparison for all young people, there is a rate of 16.2%.

This is the key issue that confronts our members – and it is the key issues that confronts us in this Bill.

For how can we willingly – indeed how can any members willingly act in a way which we know will most likely exacerbate the fragile employment status of our most vulnerable.

We cannot support this Bill.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Cancel Culture And The ‘hate Speech’ Laws

If there really is anyone out there who feels genuinely panicked about what ‘cancel culture' is doing to our precious freedoms, then maybe they should just take a deep breath, look hard at who has allegedly been ‘ cancelled’ and see if they can detect any trace of a lasting “cancellation“ effect. Chances are, the alleged cancellees will be doing just fine. By and large, they will be people who do not lack for a public platform – never have, never will – and the downstream effects of being “ cancelled” will almost invariably be trending towards zero... More>>

 

Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>

ALSO:

Government: Hundreds Of New Electric Cars For State Sector

Total of 422 new electric vehicles and charging infrastructure across the state sector $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure $1.1 million to help Kāinga Ora buy 40 electric ... More>>

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels