web analytics

Employment Relations Authority backs Air NZ prima nocta policy

Written By: - Date published: 10:49 am, August 11th, 2013 - 36 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

Following a successful application to access a sacked employee’s bank statements, Air New Zealand has had its right to insert a prima nocta clause into all of its employment agreements backed by the Employment Relations Authority.

The clause, which gives Air New Zealand senior management the right to sleep with any of its employees’ spouses on their wedding night, has alarmed civil libertarians and unions who are claiming the move breaches multiple human rights and should be stopped by government.

However Prime Minister John Key said he was relaxed about the clause and saw no reason for the government to intervene in the affairs of a semi-private business. “Look at the end of the day there’s a range of employers New Zealanders can work for so it’s pretty much the employee’s choice.”

Key said that there was no interest from the government in making such clauses mandatory. But Paula Bennett has suggested that she would be investigating making changes to cut the benefits of anyone who refused a job based on similar clauses. “Let’s face it, most bennies are already at it like rabbits anyway, and I don’t think that taxpayers will want to foot the bill just because they suddenly get a bit squeamish about getting on their backs for the boss once in a while.”

Air New Zealand’s CEO wasn’t available for interview, but in a written statement explained that the changes were about ensuring the national carrier “maintained a nimble and flexible workforce fit for the tough twenty-first century market”.

Opposition leader David Shearer has promised Labour will consider reviewing the issue when it becomes government, while Labour’s spokesperson for whatever-he-feels-like Shane Jones, commented that the policy was “redblooded” and that “Kiwis don’t want to be lead by a bunch of geldings, this’ll show the world we’re not a nation of nancyboys.”

36 comments on “Employment Relations Authority backs Air NZ prima nocta policy”

  1. tricledrown 1

    maybe we as shonkeys employer should be looking at shonkeys bank account and private communications as well

  2. fender 2

    Only a matter of time until Air NZ use spy drones to monitor their staff, how dare they use their legal sick leave entitlement.

  3. Sable 3

    Employment Relations Authority are really just a watered down version of what existed under the ECA. That is the employer is right and the employee wrong. In real terms this violates privacy laws, even in the USA a case similar to this was resolved in the employees favour. Look how far we have come from being a democracy when the US is doing a better job than we are of looking after their people.

    This is why Labour and National CAN NOT be trusted. They do not have the interests of Kiwi’s at heart. Vote Peters, vote Greens, anyone if better than these creeps.

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      Could we please have a clearer legal explanation of what a “prima nocta” clause is?

      Is Sable correct in saying it means, “That is the employer is right and the employee wrong”?

      • Sable 3.1.1

        No this is just a bit of fun. Prima nocta was an old medieval proposition where the lord of the land could sleep with a servants new wife.

        Look at the link in the story for the real case. Similar cases have cropped up overseas and almost all authorities have sided with the employee save this disgusting corner of hell.

        • In Vino 3.1.1.1

          Sorry to be another perennial know-it-all, but it is ‘nocte’, not ‘nocta’.
          nox, noctis, feminine, night. 3rd declension if I remember rightly. Some right-winger will jump on it if I don’t…

          • Te Reo Putake 3.1.1.1.1

            At the risk of an appearence in Pedantry Corner, perhaps ‘jus primae noctis’ would be more accurate in terms of the concept?

            (I’ll get my petasus and tunica now)

            • In Vino 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes – Ius primae noctis is good Latin -‘Right/Law of the first night’. Primae noctis being possessive, or genitive case. In that Braveheart film they use ‘Prima Nocte’ – ablative case, meaning ‘On the first night’. Also good classical Latin.
              Where this word nocta comes from I am not sure: later, vulgar Latin? Church Latin? Or has it become such a common error that it now gets validity on Google search?

              So maybe I have nearly earned a full toga, even with a purple edge?

              (And by the way, to be a true pedant, you have to spell ‘appearance’ with an ‘a’ in the final syllable….)

              • Barry

                No, It is following the rule that every posting in a grammer thread has to have one spelling mistake.

                • It is not quite a spelling mistake, but is your mistake the capitalisation of ‘It’ after a comma?

                  (Now I’m wondering what my mistake is. And no-one worries these days about ending a sentence with a preposition. Or beginning a sentence with ‘And’ – or ‘Or’. Or not writing complete sentences. …)

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        Uh no. It’s the supposed right/law in feudal times for the Lord of the land to have first go at any bride married in his domain, on her wedding night. Dunno how accurate it is historically.

        • Sable 3.1.2.1

          Yes it is historically accurate believe it or not.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1

            No wonder so many of our storied elite want to see society returned back to feudal times.

        • muzza 3.1.2.2

          Dunno how accurate it is historically.

          What do people suppose bowing a curtseying, were all about…

        • Te Reo Putake 3.1.2.3

          A real thing apparently, CV.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droit_du_seigneur

          Also a significant part of the plot in Braveheart, so must be true!

          btw, EDDIE seems to have ‘borrowed’ the concept of the post from here:

          http://www.freewoodpost.com/2012/03/10/georgia-employers-granted-prima-nocta-with-female-employees/

          • Sable 3.1.2.3.1

            Braveheart, now there’s a work of fiction.William Wallace was in reality a dissolute boozer and murderer. Not saying he deserved what happened to him having said that.

            • Mike S 3.1.2.3.1.1

              Edward the first was hardly a saint. Not sure about the murderer part either. Is it murder when you’re killing those who have invaded your country, raped and pillaged and are occupying your country ?

          • Eddie 3.1.2.3.2

            Nope. That’s the first time I’ve seen that. Prima Nocta’s been a satire staple for a long time though.

            I considered writing a straight piece on the bank statements story but it’s so shocking it speaks for itself. What’s particularly concerning is that, like Telecom, Air New Zealand is a training ground for many New Zealand managers who subsequently take their dodgy practices out into other companies.

            I expect we’ll start seeing this more often and I have no doubt it will put people off taking personal grievances to the ERA. Notch up another win for injustice.

            • Te Reo Putake 3.1.2.3.2.1

              Fair enough, Eddie, great minds etc.

              My concern is that the ERA seems to have overstepped it’s bounds; forcing a worker to provide retroactive and non-work related evidence goes a long way past what the authority is there to do. It also seems to move the nature of the judicial process toward the French ‘inquisitorial’ system.

            • RedLogix 3.1.2.3.2.2

              The mere fact that cases are published online and are searched by potential employers is enough to put most people off going anywhere near the ERA.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                On the other hand it provides a database of wrongdoing by employers.

          • Puddleglum 3.1.2.3.3

            Don’t know about Braveheart but it features in ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ opera.

  4. Sable 4

    A wedding ring was also originally a symbol of ownership of a wife by her husband. The band was a symbol of her being “bound” to her husband. Everyone owned everyone else back then and it looks like today its happening again. We are not moving forward but being dragged backwards into the past. Employment relations is just one example.

    • Macro 4.1

      Too true unfortunately. The zero hours contract is just another example, as is the increasing work hours for a living, the erosion of working conditions such as lunch breaks and sickness entitlements, the constant “rationalisations” where every employee is required to reapply for their supposed permanent position…the list goes on. And all for a continually diminishing slice of the cake.
      Those unfortunate enough to have been born in the past 40 years have no idea of what working conditions were like in NZ in the 1950’s – 1970’s (which were a model for the rest of the world to follow) and those that were – seem completely unaware of how seriously eroded and appalling work life is now.

  5. Rogue Trooper 5

    “without Fonterra, dairy farmers in New Zealand would (also) be peasants”. -Katrina longshanks . (No, not really, it was a female professor of agricultural economics from Waikato Uni. ) 😉

    • Murray Olsen 5.1

      WTF? They’re closer to being peasants with Fonterra as the feudal lord than they were without it. Is agricultural economics code for bullshit?

  6. tc 6

    Airnz trades off its brand loyalty and the glamour of being in the airline game when it comes to motivating its workers.

    It had been growing its nasty practices under Fyfe which Luxon is employed to see through, its far from a great place to work anymore but hey its just being a market leader.

  7. One Anonymous Knucklehead 7

    This is a perfect solution to the Waitakere Man problem: Goff, Mallard, Jones et al can all be given seats on the board of Air NZ.

    Now, about the downside…

    • Rhinocrates 7.1

      No, that’s the problem. It’s obvious even to corporates that they’re useless and they know it themselves. They’ll hang on in parliament and their cushy list positions because there is nowhere else for them to go. Fuck New Zealand, fuck the people, fuck Labour… all they want are their sinecures.

  8. Populuxe1 8

    Though for them to go to these lengths, he/she surely would have had to have been on a final written warning or something – this sort of thing wouldn’t just happen out of the blue – due process must have been followed otherwise Air NZ wouldn’t risk opening themselves to an embaressing law suit.

    • Sable 8.1

      You don’t get it. In most countries this would be viewed as a violation of privacy laws. That is it happened outside working hours using a site that it not related to the persons employment. This is absolutely out of order and a very poor decision that sets an alarming precedent-that is your private life is not private and can be used against you in a work context. But hey look at scumbag Keys and co passing a law to spy on their own countrymen and women. Democracy is dead in this country.

  9. James Thrace 9

    Thats what happens when a criminal lawyer with no understanding of employment law is shoulder tapped to be an era member.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
    Small businesses who deal with government departments are set to be paid faster and have improved cash flow as a result, under a new strategy released today. The Government is backing recommendations from the Small Business Council (SBC) and has agreed to implement three initiatives immediately to support business and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Innovative technology and tools to better manage freedom camping
    A package of new and expanded technology and other tools will encourage responsible camping and help communities and local councils better manage freedom camping this summer, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. “Our Government has been investing to improve the freedom camping experience for everyone because we want to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improving wellbeing by understanding our genes
    The government is laying the groundwork to understanding our genes – work that can help us tackle some of our biggest health challenges, like heart disease and diabetes, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. $4.7 million has been invested in the Genomics Aotearoa Rakeiora programme. The programme will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investing to future proof school property
    Nearly every state schools will receive a capital injection next year valued at $693 per student to bring forward urgent school property improvements, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.  The one-off cash injection is the first project to be announced from the Government’s infrastructure package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investments to be brought forward
    The Government has decided to bring forward major investments in New Zealand’s infrastructure to future proof the economy. “Cabinet has agreed to a significant boost to infrastructure investment. I have directed the Treasury to help bring together a package of projects that can be brought into the Government’s short and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Future-proofing New Zealand
    It is a great pleasure to be with you today in Whanganui. Like the Prime Minister I grew up with the TV clip of Selwyn Toogood booming “What do you say Whanganui, the money or the bag?” to an unsuspecting ‘It’s in the Bag’ audience. For those under the age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa track opened – an asset for the West Coast
    New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, the Paparoa Track, was officially opened in Blackball today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage alongside the family members of the Pike 29 and Ngāti Waewae.  Local mayors and MP for the West Coast Hon Damien O’Connor were also in attendance. “Paparoa National Park ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • P-8A Poseidon base works commence
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark turned the first sod of earth on the infrastructure works for the new P-8A Poseidon fleet at RNZAF Base Ohakea today. “The Coalition Government’s investment in Ohakea will ensure the Royal New Zealand Air Force can manage, maintain and task the new fleet efficiently ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Launch of the National Emergency Management Agency
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare today announced the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency from 1 December 2019.  The National Emergency Management Agency will replace the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. It will be an autonomous departmental agency, hosted by the Department of the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NASA 2020 Internship applications open
    New Zealand tertiary students with top grades and a passion for space will once again be offered the opportunity to work with the world’s best and brightest at NASA, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Recipients of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are nominated by the Ministry of Business, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to send more medical staff and essential supplies to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further support to Samoa in the wake of an ongoing measles outbreak in the country. Additional medical supplies and personnel, including a third rotation of New Zealand’s emergency medical assistance team (NZMAT), further nurse vaccinators, intensive care (ICU) specialists and Samoan-speaking medical professionals, will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cost less of a factor for Kiwis seeking GP care
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new data showing a sharp drop in the number of people who can’t afford to visit their GP is a sign of real progress. One year after the Government made it cheaper for about 600,000 Kiwis to visit their doctor, results of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Trade for All Board releases recommendations
    The Trade for All Advisory Board has released its recommendations for making New Zealand’s trade policy deliver for all New Zealanders.  The report was today welcomed by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker.  “Trade is crucial to this country’s economy and well-being, and the benefits need to flow to all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Porirua housing partnership to improve housing in the city
    A partnership signed today between the Crown and local iwi, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangātira (Ngāti Toa), will improve the quality of state housing in western Porirua, says the Associate Minister of Housing, Kris Faafoi. Contracts have been signed at a ceremony at Takapūwāhia Marae, in Porirua, between Ngāti Toa, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minster Delivers Erebus Apology
    E aku manukura, tēnā koutou. He kupu whakamahara tēnei i te aituā nui i Te Tiri o Te Moana, i Erebus I runga i tētahi maunga tiketike i riro atu rā tētahi hunga i arohanuitia E murimuri aroha tonu ana ki a rātou.  Kua titia rātou ki te manawa, mō ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF backing Southland skills
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is supporting an initiative that will help Southlanders into local jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced in Invercargill today. “I’m pleased to be in the great South today to announce PGF support of $1.5 million for Southland Youth Futures. This initiative is all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ten Southland engineering firms get PGF funding
    Ten engineering firms in Southland are receiving Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment to lift productivity and create new jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said today in Invercargill. Minister Jones announced over $4 million of PGF support for projects in the engineering and manufacturing, and aquaculture sectors and for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Public service gender pay gap continues to close and more women in leadership
    The Government has made good progress towards eliminating the gender pay gap in the Public Service, Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today.  The latest data from the annual Public Service Workforce Data Report, shows that the 2019 Public Service gender pay gap fell to 10.5% from 12.2% in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Safer speed limits for schools
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to make streets safer for kids to walk and cycle to school, by reducing speed limits to a maximum of 40 km/h around urban schools and 60 km/h around rural schools. “Our kids should have the freedom to walk and cycle to school ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago