I can’t tell you how relieved and pleased I was to read this yesterday by Pattrick Smellie:
Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum backs reform
Big business backers of controversial health and safety reforms say New Zealand “risks forgetting” the Pike River mine disaster if opposition from farmers and small business owners is allowed to water down the Health and Safety Reform Bill.
A Government backbench revolt against the legislation has delayed for two months its report back from Parliament’s transport and industrial relations select committee, with MPs claiming there’s a backlash from small business and farming constituents about the legislation increasing their health and safety responsibilities.
But the head of the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum, Francois Barton, says big business wants the reforms passed swiftly and for large and small firms to be brought into the regime, saying health and safety has for too long been treated as a “PC nanny state issue”.
“We don’t want to see any undue delay or dilution,” said Mr Barton, whose forum represents 178 of New Zealand’s largest companies, ranging from the electricity, oil and gas, port, aviation and forestry sectors, to manufacturing, telecommunications and infrastructure businesses. …
Read on for plenty more!
That really puts the focus on those who are trying to water down the legislation – the Collins faction in Cabinet, claiming to represent (some) small farmers and businesses. Recall that just a week ago Tova O’Brien wrote:
But just days before it was due to be finalised a mutiny within the National Party stymied the process and the Bill has been sent back to the drawing board to get watered down some more.
You can thank Judith Collins and a coterie of backbench MPs for that. They stirred, they stropped, they successfully stalled the Bill’s progress.
Collins’ leadership ambitions are one of Parliament’s worst kept secrets, it is also no secret she is agitating big time to up her profile.
Stalling the reforms is a power play from her and the backbench, yes, but it is also a reminder how strong farming, forestry and fishing interests are within the National Party.
Shame on anyone involved in this. Shame! All workers have a right to a healthy and safe workplace.