web analytics

Labour on fire at will

Written By: - Date published: 7:37 am, July 18th, 2015 - 195 comments
Categories: election 2017, MMP, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

A bit of confusion yesterday re Labour’s position on the fire at will (90 day trial) law. Mid day it was widely reported that:

Labour would retain 90-day trial periods, but make them fairer – Little

Andrew Little appears to have made an about turn on labour law reform, ruling out abolishing the 90-day trial period for workers. The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) has called on Labour to clarify its position and the Government is accusing Little of “weasel words”.

At a breakfast in Upper Hutt on Friday, Little was asked about Labour’s position on 90 day trial period, in which employers can dismiss workers. “Our policy is to add a fairness requirement,” Little said.

Any changes would not have a significant impact on employers, Little said. “There won’t be any new onerous obligations in that regard, but it will make it fairer and we will write that into law.”

Naturally there was concern on the left, glee on the right, as summed up by the Labour and National youth branches:

Late in the evening there was a claim on Twitter that Little had been misreported:

I hope we get some clarity on this today. I would not be surprised if the original report of a change in policy turns out to be correct, the quotes from Little seem pretty specific. I think that Labour has to “swallow some dead rats” to get traction again, and this may be one of them. It worked for National, who swallowed “communism by stealth”, and got to run the country for 7 years and counting.

While I know that this “centrist” approach angers the activist base I personally don’t have much problem with it. Let Labour chase the center, let The Greens chase the left, then let MMP work its magic and we’ll get the government and the laws that we need.



Andrew Little comments in an email to party members:

“During the press conference that followed I was asked about our position on the 90 day trial period. Labour has not, and does not, support the 90 day law as it stands. It is unfair and needs to change. As part of our overall policy review we are working with businesses, workers and their unions about how fair trial periods will work.

Labour is not opposed to trial periods where they provide opportunities for those who might not otherwise get them and where they are applied fairly. That kind of trial period has been provided for in our law for many decades, but the law National brought in is unfair and we will change it.”

195 comments on “Labour on fire at will ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    yes lets get Labour’s actual, definitive position on “Fire at will”

    but if Anthony Robins is correct this is not good news for vulnerable workers, these bloody SME owners tend to put the bach, boat and HSV Commodore before research and a living wage, let alone safe workplaces and practices

    the political psychology that has developed over 30 years to torture our young and the ‘underclass’ is well explained in the small volume “Ruth, Roger and Me”, http://www.bwb.co.nz/books/ruth-roger-and-me
    essential reading for anyone needing a primer or more likely, a reminder

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Labour’s official policy is to “restore workers’ right to contest dismissals during the first 90 days of employment by abolishing the current government’s Fire At Will law”.

      The latest expression of the policy has not changed I believe. There is clear belief that the current law is unfair and needs to change.

      There is no objection to trial periods per se. There was a trial period provision under the ERA but it had a fairness requirement and employees could contest firing through the personal grievance procedure.

      Little is suggesting a discussion with the various parties on how fair trial period laws could work. This is consistent with existing policy.

      The media have leaped on a few words said and made a story out of it.

      • Sacha 1.1.1

        Darian Fenton commented here yesterday on where the problem was:

        “the policy says : “Labour will restore workers’ right to contest dismissals during the first 90 days of employment by abolishing the current government’s Fire At Will law” I think the ambiguity surrounding Andrew’s comments today are a PR problem that needs sorting quick smart.”

        I believe she meant another party comms failure, rather than that media were getting it wrong.

        If you use the same term as your opponent (in this case “trial period”) then do not blame the media or the public for what they hear. Going back to calling it ‘probation period’ may have been smarter – unless the intent was actually to appear to be continuing the current settings. Like the dogwhistling around house buyers, it’s by no means clear which way Labour actually planned to go.

        • Michael

          I agree: it’s not that difficult to say Labour will allow trial periods but will restore the fundamental right of workers dismissed at any stage of their employment to contest their dismissal through the legal system. But that’s not what Little said.

    • Olwyn 1.2

      I agree TM – it is also well explained, from a British perspective, by Owen Jones’s two books, “Chavs – the demonisation of the working class” and “The Establishment and how they get away with it.”

      I also take issue with “the centre” concept and the “dead rats” idea. Starting with the second, National’s dead rats did not involve letting down their constituency – they kept things like WFF and interest free student loans to bring more people over to their side, but persisted with their tax switch. Moreover, their constituents readily understood that dead rats were being swallowed on their behalf. None of this would apply to Labour’s keeping draconian employment laws since there is no commensurate pay-off for workers on the horizon.

      As to appealing to the so-called centre, this PR concept is more pertinent to pitching products than governance. I concede that it is hard for parties to win elections without at least some of the well-heeled on board. I also think that the chance of getting such people on board has recently increased, as the threatening side of the global economy shows its face. The promise of sober, just governance might get these well-heeled people and Labour’s constituency onto the same page. Shallow pitches to “the centre” will not – it will just attract the mistrust of both groups.

      • Michael 1.2.1

        I agree: Jones’s book is a great read and relevant to NZ politics too. Capital wields overwhelming political power today and it requires moral courage to stand up to it. That is what we need from our Labour politicians. If they can’t or won’t display it, we’re better off voting for someone else instead. Not sure who, though.

    • KK 1.3

      Once again the Twitterati get hysterical and slag off the Labour Party based on nothing but a misreported line in the media. FFS people, this is why Labour keeps losing, it’s a party that wants to consume itself.

  2. Ad 2

    Really bad case of “explaining is losing”.

    Little, you’ve got your high-cost poll bump.

    So don’t fuck it up.

    • Ad, the polling period for the RM was almost entirely before the exposure of the Ak housing crisis, so it’s down to National’s weaknesses and Labour’s discipline. There will be other polls over the next few weeks that will show the effect of last weekend.

      Re: the 90 days, I think Little was using language that suited his business audience at that specific event. Change is gonna come to the fire at will law. However, it’s up to us, the activists, to make sure its actually the change that’s really needed.

      • BevanJS 2.1.1

        It’ll be an interesting test of Chris Trotter’s theory that the discipline required was to stay out of the media.

  3. Skinny 3

    We have bigger fish to fry than worrying about back downs (fabricated) on changing the fire at will law. The usual shills Tova, Paddy, Henry & Hoskings etc will try putting a wedge in the ranks. A crisp millitary salute… stay in formation troops.

  4. fleur 4

    Swallow dead rats? This kind of political game analysis which does not take into account the human casualties of these policies should have no place in Labour.

    There are young vulnerable workers who have had their confidence and mental health shattered because of dismissals in trials for no reason. It is real, these young people are emotionally destroyed and suicidal after they get the sack. I think they deserve better from Labour.

    [Deleted duplicate comment, fleur. TRP]

  5. infused 5

    Not sure how its unfair. You can still challange it.

    Its also not fire at woll. If you fire at will, you will lose in court. Simple as that.

  6. fleur 6

    You cannot still challenge dismissal under a trial period. That is why they are so harsh and unfair.

    90 day trials mean you have no right to take a personal grievance (unless harassment, etc.)

    This is why people sacked under them emotionally breakdown.

    • Coffee Connoisseur 6.1

      Well if someone has been sacked under 90 days then they should take a good look at their own actions that have led to that. The employer has to provide good feedback to an employee (more than once to be safe). and raise any areas that the employee needs to focus on. If the employee hasn’t taken that on board then perhaps they need to take some responsibility for the outcome. You do realise you can’t just fire someone under the 90 day law.

      • aidan 6.1.1

        don’t be a dick. that law has been abused since it came in. it allows employers to pay less for the trial period then sack workers once trials over. when this potential was pointed out national claimed that of course employers would act ethically. yeah right

    • red-blooded 6.2

      You can’t challenge dismissal under a trial period UNDER THE CURRENT LAW. What Little said was that this will change under Labour, so that an unfair dismissal can be challenged. As I see it, this is re-establishing the provisions of the Employment Relations Act (or something very close to that). As such, I (a trade union activist) have no problem with it. The elements of the 90 Day scheme that have always been unfair is the idea that an employer doesn’t need to explain their decision to fire someone within the first 90 days, and that no such decision can be challenged because there is no obligation to behave in a way that is reasonable.

      • Coffee Connoisseur 6.2.1

        If your a Trade Union Activist then you need to wake up. Trade unions in the face of automation thats coming should be looking now to ensure that workers are freed from having to work as much. You should be ensuring that workers and society as a whole realises the true benefits that are possible under automation.
        The alternative is that it will only be the company bottom line that benefits and the biggest opportunity for workers since the industrial revelution will have been again been lost, and this time you won’t get another shot,
        This is a million x more important than 90 days.

        Imagine if a platform existed that enabled businesses and workers to use that platform and actively find ways and work towards automating that business as much as possible. Now imagine that unlike the industrial revelution if workers benefitted also. The business through greater efficiency. The worker through not needing to work anywhere near as much but still getting paid the same.
        Imagine a tax break as a policy option to help businesses that decided to do that with their workers so that they could remain competitive.
        Imagine all businesses doing that.
        Imagine having just transitioned from Capitalism to a much fairer and far more automated system.
        Imagine that platform being able to introduce a currency.
        Imagine that platform replacing the banks.
        Imagine if the people with that platform understood its true potential and simply wanted everyone to have more time freed up to spend more time with their family and being able to do the things that they are truly passionate about.
        Imagine if once enough automation had taken place over time that you could simply switch off the charging and they were aware of that.
        Imagine no more war, no more poverty.
        Imagine if those people and that platform were right here in NZ.

        Imagine if there was a competitor that had grown very large very quickly that had the same platform but were only interested in the old corporate profit model.

        Wake up Mr Trade Union Activist, your greatest challenge and opportunity is just around the corner. Don’t miss it.
        As an old mentor once told me. Do more. Be more.

        • red-blooded

          A few comments in reply:
          1) How does your “automation will free us all” rant link AT ALL to the topic under discussion?
          2) Imagine a world where dickheads like you don’t assume all people to be male unless otherwise indicated. (I am not “Mr” anything!)
          3) Imagine yourself into a nice little automated utopia if you like. That’s what it is and will remain – a utopia. We’ve been through several waves of automation before – none of them has led to your imaginary scenario. you ask me to “Now imagine that unlike the industrial revelution (sic) if workers benefitted also. The business through greater efficiency. The worker through not needing to work anywhere near as much but still getting paid the same.” Guess why it didn’t happen last time? Because business and philanthropy are not the same thing, and businesses look to cut costs where they can – one place being wages for workers. That’s (unfortunately) reality for you; I don’t have to imagine it, I see it all around me and so would you if you opened up your eyes.
          4) Not all unions represent workers who could realistically be replaced by automation. We were told in my profession that technology was going to ease our workloads; bullshit. It’s changed the nature of our work, but significantly increased the demands on us. We certainly have not been freed by automation.

          • RedLogix

            We were told in my profession that technology was going to ease our workloads; bullshit. It’s changed the nature of our work, but significantly increased the demands on us. We certainly have not been freed by automation.

            As a professional automation engineer I absolutely agree with what you are saying here; especially your last para.

            The single thing I regret most is that the capitalist model means that almost 90% of the productivity gains from technology and automation are captured by the capitalists – the top 0.01%.

          • Coffee Connoisseur

            1). It doesn’t except possibly that there are more important things trade union activists could be focussing on. But then I took the view that somethings are worth risking getting banned for. I think this is one of those things.

            2) Imagine a world where people didn’t call people dickheads or lambast them for making a simple mistake. But you have my apology nonetheless.

            3) I see it all around too. As someone who has been at the forefront of automation for 20 years I’ve learned you don’t fix problems with the same thinking that created them. As for Utopian, by your own admission you represent workers whose jobs can’t be automated. In light of that how is it Utopian. Its not its just a damn site better than what we have now. Its about changing the paradigm and the way we think about business, who its for and what could be achieved through it. Some of us (not many) understand that you can’t have infinite growth. Some of us understand that Capialism is a zero sum game. Some of us even understand that the profit motive and planned obsolecense is the reason our world is being destroyed.

            4) Not yet but you could be. Or it can simply mean more Corporate profits and not enough jobs for the number of people in society.

            Sometimes it just takes the right people with the right idea, at the right time, with their heart in the right place.

            I get your cyncisim but don’t let that and ego let you miss the opportunity.
            It is the different way of thinking that is the key here.

            Or you could stick with the current redistribution of wealth model that makes people wage slaves for the majority of their lives leaving them in a somewhat continual state of stress. It doesn’t have to be that way. How scared of change are you?

            The dream for many is to make enough money to be able to free themselves from the system. Another way to do that (free yourself) is to create a passive income stream that enables you to work a lot less or even not at all.
            Automation could soon enable that at a much more individual level. Doing so can be about corporate profit or it can be about people.
            Afterall who is the system for and what is its purpose.
            Sometimes we need to learn the lessons from the past so that we don’t make the same mistakes when those opportunities are presented to us again in the future.
            Its good that you have already learned them.

            • red-blooded

              Hey, good luck with your automated dream. I just think it’s extremely unlikely that you are going to change the business paradigm about profit and where it goes just because you think it would be nicer if we were all nicer to each other. Getting back to the point (the 90 Days Act) – that’s why we HAVE (or should have) employment law; to try to put some balance and fairness into an inherently unbalanced relationship and to protect the vulnerable from abuses of power from the powerful. That’s not cynical; it’s a practical way of advancing the core values that see human beings as worthy of respect and dignity.

              And as for the “dickhead” comment, I think that was a fair response to the aggro of the “wake up, Mr Trade Unionist” comment. I’m not asleep, or dreaming, and I’m not a “Mr”.

              And, by the way, I don’t want to be “freed from work”. I think work plays an important role in giving purpose, challenge, enjoyment and satisfaction to one’s life. It can also be a burden, but that’s burden that can be mitigated and managed, and once again that’s where good employment law comes in.

              • Colonial Viper

                work is crucial to society

                its the fact that we have conflated work with paid employment, that has led us to difficulties.

                And most modern forms of paid employment still carry the negative characteristics described by old fashioned critics of ‘wage slavery.’

            • RedLogix


              You may well enjoy this:

              Postcapitalism is possible because of three major changes information technology has brought about in the past 25 years. First, it has reduced the need for work, blurred the edges between work and free time and loosened the relationship between work and wages. The coming wave of automation, currently stalled because our social infrastructure cannot bear the consequences, will hugely diminish the amount of work needed – not just to subsist but to provide a decent life for all.

              Second, information is corroding the market’s ability to form prices correctly. That is because markets are based on scarcity while information is abundant. The system’s defence mechanism is to form monopolies – the giant tech companies – on a scale not seen in the past 200 years, yet they cannot last. By building business models and share valuations based on the capture and privatisation of all socially produced information, such firms are constructing a fragile corporate edifice at odds with the most basic need of humanity, which is to use ideas freely.

              Third, we’re seeing the spontaneous rise of collaborative production: goods, services and organisations are appearing that no longer respond to the dictates of the market and the managerial hierarchy. The biggest information product in the world – Wikipedia – is made by volunteers for free, abolishing the encyclopedia business and depriving the advertising industry of an estimated $3bn a year in revenue./blockquote>


              • Colonial Viper

                they are working hard to turn post-capitalism into a kind of neo-feudalism neo-colonialism.

                • Coffee Connoisseur

                  No Viper its more of an individual collectivism.
                  Where the needs of people are what the system needs to deliver.
                  Communism failed around the ability to consistently supply basic needs.
                  Capitalism is failing as those same basic needs are being priced out of many peoples reach. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to extrapolate out the path we are headed on to see that it only gets worse from here,

                  There will always be work for society but it will be more in the areas of things like IT, science, design, arts and manufacturing and it is likely to be required far less than it is now.
                  I tell people imagine only needing to work the same hours that you did when you were at school, That’s so it is believable for them. The potential reality is far greater. It’s more like 3 days a week with four day weekends. But thats only if the benefits of automation’s ability to free people from needing to work so much (simply in order to survive in many cases) isn’t instead only realised on the Corporate bottom line. This is sold on the basis that the individual benefits via use of the service that they pay pay the corporate for.
                  But that is not where the true power of automation lies.

                  Red Logics post above is so so accurate.

                  Most people don’t realise that those Hydro Dams our government sold off, those were automated way back in the late 80’s.
                  It is society’s social structures that can’t cope with the coming changes and they need to change.

                  People need to listen less to Economists and more to the people who have been working on designing and engineering systems. These are actually the people that can fix these problems.

                  • Coffee Connoisseur

                    Thanks for posting that, That is the best thing I have read in a long time.
                    It seems like a lonely world sometimes.

                    Sorry that ^ should have been under the article Red Logic posted.

                • Coffee Connoisseur

                  Sorry Viper just realised who the ‘they’ you were referring to was. Must be a bit slow today.

              • Coffee Connoisseur

                Thanks I enjoyed that a lot. Have saved that for later.
                Everyone needs to read that article.

  7. Jenny Kirk 7

    You don’t really think a couple of former long-time unionists (Andrew Little and his chief of staff Matt McCarten) would grind the workers down ? Or do you really think they’d give up on what they’ve spent their lives fighting for ? This link to a Herald story yesterday – if you read it right through – explains Labour’s position.


    Andrew Little says the Party always accepted the need for some employers to trial workers but National had introduced “grossly unfair” law and Labour would change it to “restore fairness”. He then referred to the fact that before the Nat’s law change, there had been previously a similar law – but much more reasonable – and said :

    “Because there were two laws – a trial period law, and a probationary period law, we will look at both and make sure what we have allows employers to try out workers … and there is one consistent law across the two. ….. there were a whole heap of things to be looked at to restore the fairness requirements in the law.”

    • weka 7.1

      Thanks Jenny, that’s clearer.

    • Coffee Connoisseur 7.2

      So stupid. If I wasn’t well aware of how badly this country is getting screwed over. I’d vote National over this issue.
      Leave it alone and you’ll get a whole heap of SME owners up and down the country voting Labour as all National does is pander to overseas corporates often at their expense.
      This one has actually helped SMEs quite a bit.

      • red-blooded 7.2.1

        How would voting National (who established this unfair law and have no intention of changing it) help anything? That’s just irrational.

        • Coffee Connoisseur

          I run a business. The point I was making is that this is a law that is important to small to medium sized business owners. It could be the difference between getting their votes and not.
          I have ndicated the the things that might improve it further down. So perhaps don’t leave it alone completely, But tread carefully. It might be the difference between being seen to be pro business vs anti business.
          I get why Labour voters might not care about that but perhaps they should. As things seem to be lining up it might enable Labour to do what National has done to them. Occupying policy in the centre does not mean you have to give up left wing ideals, it just gives you a better chance at being able to implement them.

          • red-blooded

            Your original comment was impenetrable, Coffee Connoisseur. You were replying to the details given by Jenny, that “Andrew Little says the Party always accepted the need for some employers to trial workers but National had introduced “grossly unfair” law and Labour would change it to “restore fairness”. He then referred to the fact that before the Nat’s law change, there had been previously a similar law – but much more reasonable – and said :

            “Because there were two laws – a trial period law, and a probationary period law, we will look at both and make sure what we have allows employers to try out workers … and there is one consistent law across the two. ….. there were a whole heap of things to be looked at to restore the fairness requirements in the law.””

            In reply, you said, “So stupid. If I wasn’t well aware of how badly this country is getting screwed over. I’d vote National over this issue.
            Leave it alone and you’ll get a whole heap of SME owners up and down the country voting Labour as all National does is pander to overseas corporates often at their expense.
            This one has actually helped SMEs quite a bit.”

            How did you intend that to be read? I interpreted the “so stupid” bit to mean that it was stupid to have phrased this statement in a way that needed further clarification, and the rest of your comment as meaning that if you hadn’t received that clarification you might have given your vote to National because of being disappointed by Labour’s stance (which was in line with the general flow of discussion, with people misinterpreting the statement). Perhaps i was wrong, but when I look again I still don’t see a coherent statement. Sorry.

            • Coffee Connoisseur

              I said I was trying to. I never said I had communicated it well. 🙂
              The ‘so stupid’ was in relation to Labour doing away with it. In my view its good but there is room to improve it and provide more protection from employers that would seek to abuse it.

  8. weka 8

    The thing that bothers me about this isn’t Labour’s policy, it’s that after 24 hours we still don’t know what Labour’s policy is and are left with quite contradictory reports. This feeds into the perception that Labour simply aren’t competent to govern. It’s a perpetual problem, one which I really can’t understand, but either Labour sorts out how it manages communication or we have another 5 years of National.

    While I know that this “centrist” approach angers the activist base I personally don’t have much problem with it. Let Labour chase the center, let The Greens chase the left, then let MMP work its magic and we’ll get the government and the laws that we need.

    R0b, I’d be interested to hear how you see NZF fitting into that.

    • Karen 8.1

      I also am perplexed at the lack of a definitive answer from Labour on this issue. I shouldn’t have to trawl through twitter feeds to try and find out what Little really meant.

      If they are going to keep the 90 day fire at will trial then that will be it for me with Labour. The main reason for supporting them for me is that they are supposed to improve the lot of the working class, the poor and the disadvantaged.

      • weka 8.1.1

        It sounds like that’s not what they are doing, and reading between the lines (or the tealeaves) I’m guessing that Little is trying to speak in language that encourages employers to look at fairness and take Labour seriously. Unfortunately he yet again forgot about the rest of us.

        • Colonial Viper

          I take it as Little not being able to fully clarify Labour’s position because that position is unpalatable (to either business interests or to workers interests; not sure which right now).

      • Clemgeopin 8.1.2

        “Labour are supposed to improve the lot of the working class, the poor and the disadvantaged”

        Yes, Labour does that and have done that all along. But for the work done by Labour over the years, there wouldn’t have been many of the Labour laws, worker rights, fairer wages, improved conditions of work etc that employees enjoy everywhere. EVERYONE should recognise and applaud Labour for this. Why not?

        However, employers are people too like us. They too need fairness and plenty of support for being the job providers, the risk takers, the sustainers of business, production and society.

        Employers and employees are in a symbiotic relationship each supporting the other. The government (Labour) therefore need to have laws and procedures which are fair to BOTH sides, not just one. So, retaining the present 90 day trial periods which favours the employer, but making it fairer to protect the worker too in case of unfair dismissal is the right way to go. I think Mr Little has made the correct call.

        On the other hand, the stupid, inhumane and completely pro-employer unfair zero hour contracts need to go.

        • Colonial Viper

          However, employers are people too like us. They too need fairness and plenty of support for being the job providers, the risk takers, the sustainers of business, production and society.

          I love this quote

          • Clemgeopin


            (Hope you aren’t being sarcastic, going by your recent anti-Labour crusade!)

          • Charles

            I super extra mega love that quote. I want to marry it. So I can support employers everywhere all the time. Poor dears. All unprotected and under attack.

            • weka

              Are you suggesting that legislation should be written that casts employers as demons? Because that’s what I got from your response to Clem’s quote and CV’s praise of it.

              • Charles

                We need to cast them as demons? Their actions do that all by themselves. Their constant wailing about how they have no power against the evil and greedy employees they’re forced to hire. hahaha! Yes, we need to take all workers rights away without examining the reality or considering what an employer is obligated to society to do. No penalty for employers and Zero hour contracts mandatory, that’s what we need!

                Just like ToW disputes that still allow “good faith”: The law that says, “If it looks like Maori are being screwed by the Crown, then the law will take the view that, yes, the Crown is attempting to screw them, because that’s the reality of the present environment.”

                Something like that. Poor employers, all that power and intelligence and legal support and they still can’t hire effectively.

                • Clemgeopin

                  May be you should become a small business owner yourself and show everyone how it is done! That would be so much more fruitful and useful than being just a pontificating prolific armchair critic. Go on, Charlie, try it and put your effort where your mouth is man. That is a serious challenge for you about starting a business, taking financial risk, working hard, doing all the paper work, looking after health and safety, paying wages, trial periods etc ? THEN, come back and relate to us all your real life experiences about this issue.

                  • Charles

                    Maybe you should just do your job and if you can’t then get the fuck out of Employing people.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Nah, that won’t work. The only way to ensure we have good employers is regulation. It’s the only thing that has ever worked. The alternative is employment contracts written by criminals*, with good employers forced to compete on their terms.

                      *follow orders for no pay. Stop whining or you’ll get a beating.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      Oh, no, where will the workers go then?
                      Remember that the trial period is only for 3 months and Andrew Little WANTS to change it to make it FAIRER to the workers. That should suit both the worker and the employer, especially the small business employer and the eager job seeker. What is your problem with that, considering that there is high unemployment of the inexperienced/low educated/low skilled youth? As long as the law is tweaked to make it fairer to the job seeker, I have no problem with that. What is your objection?

                • weka

                  That doens’t answer my question Charles.

                  • Charles

                    Yeah it does.

                    “At the end of the day it is also a fact that whatever legal rights exist they will continue to be ignored by greedy employers who will do whatever they can get away with to suck the maximum value out of a workers labour. That is why it remains an urgent responsibility of the labour movement as a whole to work out a strategy to organise the 98% of private sector workers who are outside unions today. Only then will workers be in a position to advance their rights through real collective struggles. A hint of that power was shown through the Unite Union campaign against zero hour contracts. Much more is possible.” Mike Treen Unite Union, published today over on TDB. That’s the reality of the current environment.

                    Labour have shifted away from backing workers, to backing employers, who they know use their power for their own gain at society’s cost. And the reasoning of Little et. al? It amounts to “Without employers, there would be no employees.” Way to go Labour. Stabbing people in the front. At least they found some courage for that at last. Challenge employers and what do they say, “Well stuff you, we’ll just not hire anyone and do what we like.” Yep, some of that inherent good faith, humanity, responsibility and under-dog powerlessness oozing out of them at every opportunity. Two weeks ago, Labour weren’t the Enemy. Turned out they were just stalling for time. They brought it on themselves.

                    • weka

                      I don’t disagree with any of that, but you still haven’t answered my question. Let me rephrase it. Do you think legislation, in addition to providing good protection for workers, should work on the assumption that all employers are greedy and bad?

    • r0b 8.2

      R0b, I’d be interested to hear how you see NZF fitting into that.

      I don’t. Apart from when Peters is thrashing the Nats in a by election, I try not to think of NZF.

      If I do think about them, I can’t see them forming a government with Lab / Green, and I don’t know if Peters will hang on for 2017.

      I think the next election will go very clearly one way or the other to Nats or to Lab / Green. And frankly if it isn’t to Lab / Green then NZ is screwed.

  9. Fire at will is a disgusting policy that targets vulnerable people (just starting a new job) and reinforces the power of the employer to the actual detriment of the worker.

    The foreshore and seabed behaviour from labour cost them many Māori votes (which some may argue they have got back a bit now), helped create The Māori Party and put some people off labour for life (that’s me btw). This acceptance of the 90 day fire at will policy has the potential to slice another bit off the traditional left labour vote imo. Sure they will get some back but ffs too many times to the well makes the well dry.

    Labour you have dropped again in my view – I can’t stand the fact that the left have to have this party involved to get into power.

    • Sabine 9.1

      thats ok.

      You just have to wait for the Greens to make it on their own.

      See, no reason for unhappiness. And if the Greens were to go into coalition with Labour in order to get into government you could write them a sternly worded letter as to how much you are upset by them siding with those that are less left then left.

      Oh…you did that when they worked with National on the cycleway of national importance? You did not? Oh dear.

      • marty mars 9.1.1

        For your education – I’m a Mana supporter although I do love my Greens. Now granted I am sure the jibes will come even thicker now – (see that’s a set up and next, if I was feeling in the mood, I’d draw a connection between ‘thick’ and your comment) – but I am not in that mood 🙂

    • Coffee Connoisseur 9.2

      Marty with all due respect, If thats what you think the 3month period is then you haven’t bothered to understand the law or its purpose in my opinion. It puts a much greater onus on employers to do everything they can to give the new employee all the support they need in that 3 months. If anything the result is far better for vulnerable workers.
      There is no fire at will. There is fire iwithin 3 months if you have sat down with the employee and raised any areas you need them to improve on and focus on, on probably more than once. It makes it very clear to the employee what is required of them. If you haven’t done that as an employer, don’t expect to be able to terminate the employee inside the 3 months and get away with it.
      As for the employee, if they know what is required and are no longer afraid to clarify and ask questions then by the end of the three months you are an employee adding value to the company.
      This policy is actually a good one, especially for vulnerable workers in my view.

      • marty mars 9.2.1

        “Young Labour believes that in order to make the law fair, the 90-day trial must be repealed. We will not support a policy position that will continue to undermine the protections of working people.”


        I agree with Young Labour on this.

        • Coffee Connoisseur

          We will simply go back to hiring less and using existing staff more rather than giving new people a chance. But hey its your ball game.
          Its less risky that way.
          I have had to pay out staff who bullied other staff.
          Paid out to a staff member who actively undermined another staff member in a bid to get them fired.
          Had to pay 6 weeks wages to a Manager who attempted to run the business into the ground and try to take all of the existing clients over for themselves in the new business they had just set up.
          Paid out to an employee who despite being sat down on 4 seperate occasions and told each time that a particular action is not acceptable and given the reasons why including the risk to the entire business and everyone working there yet continued to do the exact same thing.
          Before 90 days the law and ERA was so skewed in favour of the employee it was a joke.
          Now the 90 days essentially provides a period to transition the employee an employee into the business, into the team, into the culture. It provides a far more co-operative environment on both sides of the equation.

          Ask yourself if the 90 days was the difference between another term for National vs having a Labour govt what would your preference be.

          I have even overheard one employer of a small business around election time saying thyat he tells his staff to vote National because their business might not do so well under Labour and jobs aren’t as easy to come by in the provences.
          Don’t worry (or do actually) I wasn’t happy about it either.

          Labour have never had a better opportunity to take the SME vote off National. Don’t underestimate how important the 90 day law is for them.

          • marty mars

            So you disagree with Young Labour – I don’t.

            • Coffee Connoisseur

              thats cool. Every story has two sides. Just giving you some insight into the other side,
              You might not realise it but employers are people too and have often taken great risks.
              I am now getting to see 3 of my staff who have been with me for a while being able to buy their first home. It’s prety nice knowing I played a part in enabling that.That might not have been the case because of some of those examples listed above.

              • Colonial Viper

                Thanks for detailing out your position so clearly and definitely CC. I also think that Labour should be the natural political party of sole traders and SMEs, but they have quite some way to go.

          • Clemgeopin

            I agree entirely. I do know how risky and how hard it is to start a small business. It is not only expensive to start and build, but quite hard to sustain it even with paying only the minimum wage. Easy to pontificate, hard to do. As I said above, Labour has to be a party of fairness, -fairness for all, including the employers.

            I am so glad that Labour has a very good leader in Andrew Little who has shown empathy, common sense, fairness and intelligence in his dealings so far.

    • red-blooded 9.3

      marty mars, have you actually read the discussion before making your “dropped again” comment? Labour has not said anything new or controversial here – they are still saying they will make it illegal to fire at will (and that’s the guts of the 90 Day Act).

      • marty mars 9.3.1

        “Young Labour believes that in order to make the law fair, the 90-day trial must be repealed. We will not support a policy position that will continue to undermine the protections of working people.”


        I agree with Young Labour on this.

        • Michael

          So do I: trial periods subject to a statutory requirement of fairness and good faith (including a statement of reasons for dismissal) are essential. As for personal grievances under employment law, very few get past mediation and nearly all are settled with derisory levels of compensation. Hardly an existential threat to capitalist enterprise. The race to the bottom must be stopped – if Labour can’t or won’t do it, it has no reason for existing anymore.

    • Skinny 9.4

      Just ignore the facts completely Marty and spin your own twisted tale. At least most right-wing trolls put up reasonable arguments based on some sort of facts, rather than like you who is deliberately plucking crap out of your own arse.

      As far as Unions go and your leader of the defuncted Mana I would n’t
      blow to hard. A close Union friend of myself and McCarten told me some shocking incident’s relating to workers in the health care industry.

      • marty mars 9.4.1

        “Young Labour believes that in order to make the law fair, the 90-day trial must be repealed. We will not support a policy position that will continue to undermine the protections of working people.”


        I agree with Young Labour on this.

        • Skinny

          As a hardened unionist and with respect, what the fuck would these young punks know about the overall industrial relations wider picture. The sign on period, the collective and all the other issues need taking care of too.

          • marty mars

            fuck your bullshit respect wanker – they are the future and you are obsolete fool

            • Skinny

              So now it all comes out. Marty appears to show his real distaste of Labour is us old school Unionist. Well chap we won’t be going anyway, we are in the party to look after the working class, got a problem with that?

              As far as our young vulnerable workers go. There is enough antidotial evidence that can be used for a policy (under urgency once in power) that gives young workers automatic coverage by a special young & vulnerable workers collective agreement for the first 3 months employment, with an opt out clause afterwards.

              So grow up and lose the big Mana/Labout chip on your shoulders which weighs you down.

            • red-blooded

              marty – is it just possible that Young Labour have responded a bit too quickly, and have based their response on media reports rather than looking at the statement in full? We don’t have to see them as “young punks” in order to admit the possibility that an immediate response on Twitter may have been a bit too quick How mush research was done before the one sentence was fired out into the Twittisphere?

              • Yes that is entirely possible – good point red-blooded thanks

              • Skinny

                If this comes from the young Labour rep or media spokesperson I would be removing them. It becomes a unity issue, and blabbing via social media was foolish and done deliberately. They may as well have sent a direct media release mail out. Unity is important, especially with the LP track record. I feel this may have been a sour grapes attack by a young Robertson fan club member against Little.

                • “What sort of country is it that has an employment law that attacks people at their most vulnerable time, when they’ve just started a new job,” he said.
                  “What sort of employer is it who is unable to manage workers in a dignified and respectful way?”

                  What about that quote skinny – see Rosie below – that is your leader a few years ago!!!

          • Keir

            Young Labour’s statement just reiterated what those well known “young punk” groups who don’t know anything about industrial relations the SFWU, the PSA, PSA Youth, and Stand Up said. So yeah, I’m not entirely sure what you are on about here.

  10. Sabine 10

    90 day trial is standard in many countries that I have worked in. Germany, Netherlands, France and now NZ.

    I don’t think having this provision is bad on principle. It happened to me that I had a boss say to me that this job might not be the right fit for me (my first attempt at an apprenticeship when i was fifteen, and she was right, it was not the right environment for me). It freed me to find a job more suitable to my temperament, and I did not loose any rights to unemployment etc. This equally happens if I would say after three weeks on the job that I am not suitable for the particular job, or my boss is abusive or other maybe the workplace is not safe.

    What I want to know is what happens if a Staff in NZ quits a job under the 90 day trial period say for an unsafe workplace. Will they be able to claim unemployment money?

    This to me is the crux of the matter, if the provision only serves bosses to get rid of staff within this provision, that the chance of abuse is rife. IF the provision serves both sides equally then I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing.

    • Coffee Connoisseur 10.1


    • Bill 10.2

      Before the current provision was brought in, if you just up and left a job, then WINZ would stand you down for a period. If you were filing a personal grievance, then you weren’t stood down.

      Under the current provision, if you have no grounds for a personal grievance, then there is a stand down period.

      The bottom line is that employment law is weighted heavily in favour of employers and…well, it’s always been designed with employers in mind and workers protections have always been a secondary consideration.

      Add on to that the considerations of peripheral bureaucracies (eg WINZ) and you can discern a kind of bureaucratic cage that keeps workers ‘in their right place’.

      • Coffee Connoisseur 10.2.1

        I disagee with you that it is heavily weighted in favour of an employer. Be good if you could provide some examples of your thinking on why you thin k this.

        That aside, if there is currently a standdown period if you are dismissed under 90 days, then that should definitely be changed so that there isn’t one. I also think there needs to be a valid reason so perhaps that is another legislative tweak to ensure greater fairness.

        • Bill

          CC. Why do you think employment law was ever drawn up?

          Was it principally to protect business from wildcat strikes and unusual forms of resistance from workers?

          Or was it principally to protect those involved in wildcat strikes and unusual forms of resistance?

          That’s where the weighting comes from.

          • Coffee Connoisseur

            Sorry bill I meant actual examples from today. We often get too caught up in idealism when we should be looking to see if problems exist and if they do how to fix them.
            Especially in the face of the levels of automation that are just around the corner.

            • Bill

              I’m not going to provide a shopping list of example, though from my years of advocacy I could.

              Consider this. A larger employer wants shot of an employee. The employee is competent and what not, so the firing isn’t to do with performance.

              What was fairly routine in my experience was that the employer would harass the employee until they quit and file a grievance. The employer knows they will lose and cops the financial penalty and moves on.

              The employee, meantime, has a settlement that never compensates, has no job and bills and mortgage repayments to make…hmm, not to mention a gap in their employment history to account for. Sure, part of settlement might have involved the ex-employer providing an agreed upon reference, but it’s not rocket science to figure how that can go south if a prospective employer makes a phone call…

              • Coffee Connoisseur

                Thanks Bill,what you outlined was good enough. I guess I don’t get to see that side as I always try to deal with people fairly.
                I can see how that could be the case with a larger more profitable business. I’d say smaller businesses are more likely to need the money to stay in the business.
                Thinking back I worked for a good guy who was an assistant manager in a retail chain and was placed in exactly the situation you just outlined.

                • weka

                  Where I live, lots of people don’t even have employment contracts and these are with small businesses. Those people aren’t going to go through the process Bill describes because it’s a small town and they want to get a job somewhere else. Any shit from the employer and the employee sucks it up.

      • Sabine 10.2.2

        So bringing this law back to what it used to be it would not be a bad thing.

        disclaimer. I am a boss, my 2 staff have fixed hours, above minimum wage (not as high as i would like to, but then we are a very young business ) , and both have worked for me now since the inception of the business. I do believe that the right to leave or dismissal in the beginning period is a good thing, again, if applied to both sides equally and if it does not harm the employee….I was an employee long enough to remember.
        But in saying that, one can employ the wrong person for the job, as one can pick the wrong job, and in both cases it might be best if this contract could be dissolved.

        In Germany there is a clause by mutual agreement, which basically means both parties agree, no one fires and no one quits. The contract simply ends, and as such the employee (always the weaker part in these discussions) can apply for unemployment funds to tide over to the next job without fear of repercussions.

        • Bill

          I’ve always reckoned that if it was left to the other workers to decide whether a new employee was suitable, then things would be a lot smoother and equitable.

          I’ve seen instance after instance in larger workplaces where an arse-hole caused mayhem for months on end before management got their ham-fisted mitts on the situation.

          I’m all for a more free flowing workforce in an environment where workers don’t face sanctions. A major problem is the various sanctions that hit workers who walk.

    • red-blooded 10.3

      Sabine, I think there’s a big difference between what sounds like mutual agreement after discussion between you and your boss when you were 15 and the ability of that boss to simply dump you under the 90 Days Act. Let’s remember that you and your boss worked things out just fine under a much more protective set of employment laws (unless I’m wrong in assuming that you are no longer a teenager and the discussion you are referring to took place prior to the enactment of the 90 Days Act). You had a discussion, she explained her reasoning, you decided to look for another job. That’s always been perfectly legal. However, if she had simply told you to leave, then under any fair employment law she would need to reach a higher standard of process. She would have to discuss her concerns with you more than once, give you a chance to try to change any behaviours that she was concerned about or lift the standard of your work, and keep clear records of the processes used to measure the issues causing her concern and her dealings with you. If you were unable or unwilling to change, she could sack you.

      Looking at the website for the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation, they explain the provisions of the 90 Day Act by saying:
      “If an employee is on a trial period you may give the employee notice of dismissal, and the employee cannot take a personal grievance on the grounds of unjustified dismissal. The employee may, however, raise a personal grievance on other grounds, such as discrimination or harassment or unjustified action by the employer that disadvantages the employee.
      For an employee on a trial period you are not required to consult them about making a decision before the end of the trial period to dismiss the employee.”
      …Sounds a bit different from the scenario you outlined, Sabine. Your employer DID “consult you” and if they had fired you and you had been really unhappy about it, you could have taken a personal grievance case on the basis of unjustified dismissal.

      A return to fairer labour laws will certainly be a step in the right (left) direction, and I don’t see anything in what Little has said to indicate that he isn’t intending to take this step.

      • Sabine 10.3.1

        there are three scenarios in germany

        start a job with a three month trial

        – whithin this period both can stop the agreement without notice any time
        (however, this is generally considered unpolite and is only done in cases of abuse by the one or the other party, i.e. theft by the employee or abuse harassment by the employer)
        So within these rules if you were dismissed on the spot, one would assume that something has happened on your part to be dismissed, or if you quit your job like that one would assume that your boss / workplace might not be a nice person/place.

        – within this period one or the other party breaks the agreement after consultation, i.e. in the case of my boss Letting me know that the job I was hired for was not a good fit. In this case the ‘fired’ person can like me breathe a sigh of relieve and agree or find some ground with the boss to change behavior etc.

        – within this period of time both parties come to an agreement that the contract should be resolved without any mentioning of reasons, and no harm is done to either. This is the most common form of ending a contract in Germany to my knowledge, not only within the trial period, but also with work contracts that are well outside this provision.

        All these scenarios do not leave the employee (who is always the weaker part) without access to unemployment funds.

        The only time unemployment funds are refused is if an unemployed person is not looking for appropriate jobs/ and or refusing to apply for appropriate jobs, or if they Leave a job on the spot once they are in an unconditional contract – abandonment of the job.

        The trial period should provide both parties with the option to end an employment agreement that is not working out for both the employer and the employee.

        In my experience the last job that I held before opening my business, I knew literally three days into the job that the office environment was not for me. However, under the current law I did not have recourse to leave this job, as I would have been stood down for 12 weeks before being able to draw unemployment benefits. And this scenario can not be good either. As clearly, someone else would maybe have been a better fit then me, but I could not leave lest I wanted to live under a bridge.

        So I guess, looking at the trial period per se is not Anti Labour (and Germany can not be considered the capitalistic businessmen wet dream as they still have a fairly robust worker protection in place), but I would like to see it used by both sides without sanctions. So If Labour will try to make it fairer, then I am happy with that. I will wait and see what they will do before I throw rotten eggs and tomatoes at them (verbally of course – and I have done so on previous occasions), as the throwing of rotten eggs and tomatoes might be considered assault, despite the fact that it would be great stress relieve 🙂 .

  11. Coffee Connoisseur 11

    Calling it ‘Fire at will’ makes me think you don’t actually understand the requirements of the law at all. It is anything but fire at will. If anything a greater duty of care is imposed on employers as a result of the law,

    In fact when you think about it. Its not that much different to Rightwingers calling Labours stats from barefoot and Thompson racist.
    Time to rise above perhaps.

    • Tiger Mountain 11.1

      well old chap, sorry to base my comments in reality, but I know several young people in local cafes sacked on day 89, literally, by the owner, one by phone from poolside on Island holiday! the owner had looked at her dairy and remembered the to do list, and I know of many similar examples via my networks and union organiser friends

      • infused 11.1.1

        Then take them to court dumbass. You Cannot fire someone at will.

        The fact is your just talking a crock of shit.

        • red-blooded

          Have a look at the quote from the MBED above, Infused, then revisit the “crock of shit” viewpoint.

          • infused

            I don’t know what you are referring to.

            • red-blooded

              How hard is it to look above and find a something that’s just been quoted in a previous comment, infused? I was referring to this (from my comment at 10.3): “Looking at the website for the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation, they explain the provisions of the 90 Day Act by saying:
              “If an employee is on a trial period you may give the employee notice of dismissal, and the employee cannot take a personal grievance on the grounds of unjustified dismissal. The employee may, however, raise a personal grievance on other grounds, such as discrimination or harassment or unjustified action by the employer that disadvantages the employee.
              For an employee on a trial period you are not required to consult them about making a decision before the end of the trial period to dismiss the employee.”

              You had just said to Tiger Mountain, who reported several young acquaintances being fired with no reason given just before the end of the 90 day period, “Then take them to court dumbass. You Cannot fire someone at will.

              The fact is your (sic) just talking a crock of shit.”

              The fact is, the details from the MBEI show clearly that an employer CAN fire someone without “consulting” them and giving them as reason, and that they CANNOT take a personal grievance on the grounds of unfair dismissal.

              I think it’s pretty clear why I asked you to reconsider your “crock of shit” comment; it’s because that comment is itself a crock of shit. The “take them to court” option doesn’t exist for someone who feels they have been unfairly dismissed under the 90 Days Act.

              • infused

                Then link the fucking comment next time you lazy prick. I’m not searching through every god damm comment to find what the hell you are talking about.

                If any of the due process is not follow, the ex staff member can, and should go after the employer. That’s how they are all being done over. My statement IS correct. If you don’t follow process and randomly fire someone, you will get fucked over.


                You should also take notice of what the actual process is so you stop looking like a dumbass.

                • red-blooded


                  (Look at the sections under “trial period”.)

                  It was quoted in full, sitting there under my name a few comments up. There’s no need for abuse.

                  You have taken your viewpoint from a scare-tactic statement from an interested party, keen to stir up concerns to drum up clients. I have taken mine from the official advice on the website of the relevant Ministry. Who’s the one who needs to take notice of the actual process (as opposed to the self-serving scare-tactics of a very obviously biased commentator)?

                • Lanthanide

                  If the process is followed properly, it still does allow an employer to fire an employee at will, infused.

                  Yes, there are many ways to fuck it up. But that doesn’t mean that under the law you cannot “fire someone at will”, because you can.

      • Coffee Connoisseur 11.1.2

        That is retarded. I do think there should have to be a valid reason and one that has been raised with the employee as an area for improvement with time for the employee to improve.
        But what you outlined is just wrong.
        If they have simply been fired on day 89 with no indication of any areas for improvement outlined by the employer to the employee, the employee can still go the employer in such an instance and will win. Rightly so too.

        • Craig H

          From section 67B of the ERA 2000:

          “(1) This section applies if an employer terminates an employment agreement containing a trial provision under section 67A by giving the employee notice of the termination before the end of the trial period, whether the termination takes effect before, at, or after the end of the trial period.

          (2) An employee whose employment agreement is terminated in accordance with subsection (1) may not bring a personal grievance or legal proceedings in respect of the dismissal.”

          i.e. Provided there is a clause in the employment agreement that meets the requirements of section 67A, and the other requirements of 67A & B are met, the employee can’t do much about a dismissal. The employer does not have to give reasons in writing (section 120 does not apply), and does not have to consult with the employee (section 4 (1A)(c) does not apply).

          The upshot of the above is that provided the employer is careful about strictly observing the requirements of the law (and the interpretations from the Employment Court), they absolutely can fire at will within 90 days because the employee has no recourse, and there is no obligation to consult with the employee in any way, or give reasons afterwards.

          • infused

            In reality it doesn’t work like that. I’d like to see anyone fire someone @ day 89 with no documentation or cause and get away with it.

          • Coffee Connoisseur

            Its actually not that simple. The courts played their hand very early on and the employer has to have outlined where they are not happy with the employees performance and what they want them to change. If you haven’t done that then you will lose in court.
            It isn’t as simple as just quoting what the policy says on this one.

            • infused

              Exactly. People commenting here actually have no fucking idea how this law works.

              • Tiger Mountain

                some (heh, very few) young people have a detailed understanding of employment law, they are easily manipulated and pressured by obvious factors and having limited resources, unfair employers are going to remain untroubled by those they sack

                good legislation should be backed up by information, enforcement and support for citizens subject to it

  12. Facetious 12

    When a backdown is not a backdown?

  13. Andrew Little comments:

    “During the press conference that followed I was asked about our position on the 90 day trial period. Labour has not, and does not, support the 90 day law as it stands. It is unfair and needs to change. As part of our overall policy review we are working with businesses, workers and their unions about how fair trial periods will work.

    Labour is not opposed to trial periods where they provide opportunities for those who might not otherwise get them and where they are applied fairly. That kind of trial period has been provided for in our law for many decades, but the law National brought in is unfair and we will change it.”

    • infused 13.1

      A step backwards then considering this law is in most oecd countries.

      • Coffee Connoisseur 13.1.1

        it depends on the nature of any change as to whether or not it is a step backwards or forwards.

    • weka 13.2

      Where’s that from trp? Would love to see it up as a post (Notices and Features?) just so there is a clear statment that is highly visible.

      • te reo putake 13.2.1

        An internal email this morning, weka. I’ll add it to the post (assuming r0b doesn’t mind?).

        • Colonial Viper

          An internal email this morning, weka. I’ll add it to the post (assuming r0b doesn’t mind?).

          I don’t understand, who did Andrew Little issue this clarification to?

          Why has it not been put out as a standard press release – is there a reason Little won’t stand behind this statement in public?

        • r0b

          TRP – not at all, you are welcome to edit my posts any time (as is any other author).

          • te reo putake

            Cheers, r0b, much appreciated. I hopes it provides some of the clarity you mentioned in the post.

            I expect this will come up at the NZ conference later this year. Hopefully the current position of doing away with the whole thing will be endorsed. The only alternative I could see being supported would be re-jigging the whole concept of trial periods so that they come under under the ‘good faith’ framework again. At the moment, the fire at will provisions are just a bonus for bad bosses and it adds nothing positive to the working lives of kiwis.

            • r0b

              Hopefully the current position of doing away with the whole thing will be endorsed.

              That would certainly be my preference! As per the post though, MPs making the case for something weaker would not surprise me at all.

          • lprent

            Actually and pedantically “.. any other editor.”.

            Authors can only edit their own posts, and only moderate comments on their own posts.

            But I do tend to jump people from author to editor whenever they show signs of wanting meddle take on more responsibility.

    • Charles 13.3

      These words are too ambiguous to be trusted. His final words can still be interpretted as changing/amending what exists, instead of repealing what exists and creating whatever is necessary from scratch. The current 90 Day law is nothing but a legal enforcement of worker exploitation for greedy private profit.

      • red-blooded 13.3.1

        The guts of the 90 Days Act is the fire-at-will provision. If that’s gone, the Act is gutted. Little has said that will be gone. That doesn’t seem particularly ambiguous to me.

        • Charles

          The whole thing has to go. He can’t say “we’ll keep some of it” and not reinforce the why it’s used:

          At an interview, the first interview, the employer asks if the prospect will agree to a 90 Day probationary period. If they say no, they don’t get the job. There is no good faith (still a legal requirement AFAIK), no way to reach compromise, no discussion. No need for an interview really. Makes dumb employers even dumber. Encourages people who shouldn’t be employers to be employers.

          It’s not like “employment” is this isolated activity in a vaccum outside of society. So now we have employees shut out of jobs on the whim and shortcomings of the employer, pushed off welfare when they have no jobs; no right to making a living, but plenty of private prisons to take up the slack? Yippee. This is yet another symptom of a style of political thinking that ends badly for everyone except one man at the top – and completely unacceptable for any Party that alludes to worker’s representation.

          If Little wants to apply probationary periods to the situations he says needs them, then they will be specific industries and situations, and he can’t use an existing law that anyone can use who can’t be stuffed fulfilling the role and obligations of being a responsible employer.

    • Wayne 13.4

      As the author of the 90 day trial periods, I have a particular interest in this issue. In my view, Andrew Little’s words are ambiguous.

      He knows that every OECD nation has trial periods where the full adjudication rights are not available for employees. In short an employer can say to the employee “it has not worked out”, in the knowledge they cannot be taken to court to contest the decision (except for racial discrimination or similar).

      In some countries the trial period is as long as two years, which seems far too long. I chose 90 days because it is about the shortest period of any OECD country. I did so on the basis that it would seen by most New Zealanders as a reasonable period for the employer to make a fair judgement about the employee, On this basis I considered the law would be able to survive a change of government, particularly if it was not seen to have been abused. In my view it has generally worked as intended, and there are no real scandals about widespread abuse.

      Of course I know Standardnistas will dispute that claim, but by and large Standardnista’s political views are well to the left of middle New zealand, so that will be no surprise.

      Coming back to the ambiguity. Andrew Little says a trial period “has been provided for in our law for many decades, but the law National bought in is unfair and we will change it.”

      On one interpretation of his words he is proposing no change at all from the law that was in force prior to 2009. On this basis he envisages the full personal grievance procedure being available from day one, which defeats the entire purpose of a trial period. That is why the pre-2009 law for trial periods was never used. There was no difference at all with any other employment contract, so there was no point in having a trial period.

      But did he really say that Labour would go back to the pre-2009 law? As I read it the first part of the statement is more of an observation about the pre-2009 law. When he says “the law that National bought in is unfair and we will change it”, he is not necessarily saying he will go back to the pre-2009 law. He could be saying that the changes will be something between what the law is now and what is was prior to 2009.

      Certainly the impression that he apparently intended to give to the audience was that he was not simply going to reinstate the pre-2009 law.

      Possible changes that would be less than the reinstatement of the full personal grievance procedure, could include the employer be required to provide a written statement as to why the trial period is being terminated. It might include a period of 2 weeks or so whereby an employee could rectify the issue that is causing the employer to end the trial period.

      Given the ambiguity, Andrew Little will need to clarify what he actually meant.

      • red-blooded 13.4.1

        The fact that he has acknowledged that some form of trial period can be useful but said that the current law is unfair and any protocols around termination of employment need to be fair seems to be a pretty clear statement of intent.

        If you are the author of the current law, your viewpoint is just as extreme as any being represented by commenters here; it’s just extreme in the opposite direction. You are certainly not a disinterested commentator and have your own reasons for trying to muddy the waters around Little’s comments.

        • Wayne


          Given that every OECD country has trial periods and 90 days is among the shortest, you cannot seriously argue I am an extremist on this issue. In fact on the basis of the range of law in the OECD nations, l am left of centre!

          A right wing extremist would propose the ACT approach on employment law, which is pretty much employment at will (or whatever the parties agree) across all employment contracts.

          I am certainly not a disinterested commentator on this issue. But it is hardly “trying to muddy the waters around Little’s comments” to suggest that Mr Little needs to clarify what he meant. This whole post exists because there is some confusion about what he meant.

          • red-blooded

            This post arose because Little’s comments were reported in part, and it took an hour or two to find the full statement. That’s doesn’t suggest lack of clarity in the statement; just lazy reporting.

            As for the OECD comparison, there’s quite a lot of variety in the trial period laws. A very quick glance shows, for example, that in Austria any trial period is usually 1 month, and in Belgium it’s expected that blue collar jobs may have trial periods of 1-2 weeks and white collar jobs 1-6 months. Canada goes with 90 days, except in some provinces, where it’s shorter (typically 30 days). Chile only allows trial periods for domestic workers. France goes for 2 months (blue collar), 3 months (white collar) and 4-6 months (managerial). Some other countries have longer trial periods, but NZ’s certainly not left-of-centre on this issue.

  14. upnorth 14

    stay out of the media for a year was the advice of Trotter – you can see why

    three times labour have opened their mouths and look what happens

    man get fired for leaking
    Supports National 90 day trial law
    Flexible provisional tax which is already available and every other party has published the same idea (forget who mentioned it first but it wasn’t Labour)

    I am really worried that labour will look to be woefully incoherent with their message.

    Not enough research – but here what gets me – Why isnt Grant Robertson fronting tax bills and economy stuff

    • Coffee Connoisseur 14.1

      I think you’re about to see a massive swing in the polls.

      • upnorth 14.1.1

        Nah not really mid term things will show on average

        National 48
        Labour 35
        Greens 10
        NZ First 5
        Other 2

        Remember Labour still has not announced any policy and they need to be publicly scrutinised and Little and Robertson are very weak on economics and finance debate so I hold no hope there.

        If they keep on the social issues then maybe but I am pretty sure there is hope then despair from the left voters – the biggest poll swing will be when Winston retires. That is Labours only hope.

        James Shaw will over time will deplete some of Labour’s voters – he is good.

        Little hasn’t been tested and the everything he has put out in the marketplace so far gets beaten up. No home runs – very unhappy with Twyfords approach but he got a home run – Little doesn’t lookas assured as Twyford and looked like damaged goods when he had to front.

        Maybe Nash Tywford look the goods as Leader and deputy

        • Colonial Viper

          I remain suspicious of Grant Robertson and note that you’ve also noticed that he is staying in the background keeping well out of the limelight.

          • rhinocrates

            Rightly so. Very affable, but if you shake hands with him, count your fingers.

            • Stuart Munro

              I feel the same – but if he can get Key sacked for lying I’ll give him a truckload of free passes.

          • Skinny

            Cut him off at the knee’s by putting Adern as Little’s 2iC and move King on. If Adern won’t play ball then she needs to be cut by way of the list.

            • Clemgeopin

              “move King on’

              No, King is one of the more experienced, nice, clever and clued-on MPs that has kept this government on their toes. Camp mother, mate!

              • Anne

                When Little announced Annette King as deputy he said it was only for the next 12 months. I assume Annette only accepted it on that basis. Unless she has since agreed to carry on for a bit longer there will be a new deputy in around six months time.

              • Chris

                It’s people like you … who’ve destroyed any semblance of an effective opposition. “Go Labour!!” Yes please, Labour, please go.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.2

        I think you’re about to see a massive swing in the polls.

        You really think Labour can stay above 30% for the next few Roy Morgans? I do not. They say this is Labour’s best showing since Sept 2013.

        Worth remembering how the General Election went just one year later.

        • Lanthanide

          “Worth remembering how the General Election went just one year later.”

          After a disastrous change of leadership that was intentionally spiked by other MPs.

  15. millsy 15

    What everything comes down to is that the 90 day law pretty much makes all workers expendable. I am uncomfortable with the fact that workers are only taken on because it is easy to get rid of them. It really shows employers how much they value workers.

    • infused 15.1

      Have you ever had to employee people in your own business millsy?

      • Macro 15.1.1

        My heart bleeds for you confused – you poor blighted individual. It must be so hard for you, having to fire all these people every 90 days.
        By the way I have had experience in recruitment and amongst other roles was Director of Recruitment for the RNZN for 4 years. There have always been probationary or trial periods, the main difference (and iniquity) now is that employers can fire at will, and many do.

        Tens of thousands of workers have been sacked under the 90-day-trial period, with many let go because they “did not fit in”.

        Figures published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show about 69,000 employers took on at least one new staff member in 2012 under the legislation.

        It is not known how many workers were dismissed during the 90-day-trial period, but the figures revealed 27 per cent of employers said they had fired at least one new employee during or at the end of their trial.

        This means at least 18,000 people lost their jobs in the first three months of employment last year, with the actual figure likely to be much higher.

        When asked why they had dismissed staff, most employers said it was because they were unreliable or had a bad attitude. Other reasons included employees not having the necessary skills, not getting on with colleagues, and not fitting in.


        • RedLogix

          When asked why they had dismissed staff, most employers said it was because they were unreliable or had a bad attitude. Other reasons included employees not having the necessary skills, not getting on with colleagues, and not fitting in.

          Which sadly are likely to be real issues. I’ve seen this play out in my own workplaces – just one disconnected, demotivated individual easily causes all sorts of toxic crap and damage to a business. I’m quite certain that a fair old percentage of people fired under this Nat law really did need their arse booted out the door.

          Equally there is no way of telling how many incompetent and venal employers have exploited this law to get some cheap low cost, low risk labour for a few months.

          The crucial thing is that people want to know that the process was fair. That if they did fuck up that they got an evens chance to put it right in good faith. And this isn’t terribly hard to document so that it can stand up in the Employment Court if necessary.

          It’s a simple basic bit of procedural competency that can be easily required if you want the privilege of employing people.

          • Macro

            The figures given above suggest a turn over of staff under the “fire at will legislation” of new employees of just over 25% (around 18,000 of 69,000). To my mind this represents huge inefficiencies, both for the employer, and for the unfortunate employees. This figure does not include the turn over of any other staff.
            A turn over of staff in excess of 10%pa is an indication that that organisation is not cohesive and there are internal problems, and relationships within the organisation that need to be addressed. It is bad management to spend money on training a new employee, only to have them leave, and then have to go through the cost of training a replacement. I believe that with this “fire at will” many are taking an “easy” way out rather than to look at their own management practices. Are they recruiting the right people in the first place? Are their training procedures adequate or appropriate? Are their expectations appropriate of a new employee? etc.
            Too often employers are looking only at short term profits rather than investing in future gains.
            So while employers say we want this legislation, it might be more to their long term advantage for it to be repealed, for then they would be forced to reconsider their management practices and their hiring a little more closely, and they would find they had a more cohesive work force and people who wanted to work for them and not head down the road at the earliest opportunity.

        • infused

          It’s easy when it’s other peoples money Macro. Hence why i asked if you have ever hired anyone in your own business.

          So that’s about as good as Labours leaked data then.

          Tens of thousands of workers have been sacked under the 90-day-trial period, with many let go because they “did not fit in”.


          It is not known how many workers were dismissed during the 90-day-trial period, but the figures revealed 27 per cent of employers said they had fired at least one new employee during or at the end of their trial.

          Labour always picks the best information. I wonder how many were Chinese.

          • Macro

            It’s easy when it’s other peoples money Macro. Hence why i asked if you have ever hired anyone in your own business.

            If its so difficult for you, then perhaps you should think about whether you should be an employer.
            As Director of Naval Manpower Training and Recruiting I had a limited budget – if that was spent, there was no more. If the loss rate was greater than 10% – ships would be tied up, and the country could not meet it’s defence commitments. It’s not all about you.

          • Lanthanide

            “Labour always picks the best information.”

            You mean, National always deliberately refuse to collect the information, so no-one can hold them to account?

      • millsy 15.1.2

        Do you see your workers as expendable infused?

        • infused

          What a stupid fucking question. Why the fuck would I waste thousands of dollars hiring and training someone, to fire them within 3 months?

          • McFlock

            Because you, as the employer in question, are so incompetent that you couldn’t use the basic probationary provisions that already existed in employment law, so you kept getting pinged by the employment tribunal for unfair dismissal.

            Pretty simple, really – the only employers who need fire-at-will are incompetent, so arguing that they wouldn’t act incompetently is silly.

            • Coffee Connoisseur

              McFlock it would be more accurate to say the only Employers that need the 90 day trial period are those employers in SMEs that are balls to the wall busy just keeping their businesses going in our so called ‘Rockstar Economy’ so that their employees stay employed.

              Hiring the wrong employee can have devastating effects to some businesses. effects that adversely affect other employees too.

              • McFlock

                Why should employees subsidise (with precariousness in their work conditions) those few SMEs who are being incompetently managed? HR is a key part of management abilities. If a business owner is too busy to do a key part of their job, they should make way for competent business owners.

                I’m being a bit harsh, maybe? Well that’s exactly the attitude that fire-at-will takes on employees, so what’s good for the employee is good for the employer.

                An incompetent manager is worse for a business than “the wrong employee”. I’ve seen some pretty dropkick employees, and none of them were as toxic to the workplace as the most mildly dropkicky of the dropkick managers I’ve also seen.

  16. Sable 16

    A watered down 90 day law by a watered down Labour party…..Same thing the shits did with the ECA…..

    • Macro 16.1

      Yep! Exactly! Leave it so that the next lot of vandals can easily unpick it and disadvantage workers. They have no brains. You wonder why any worker would vote for them.

  17. Heartbleeding Liberal 17

    The number one priority for the left should be increasing voter turnout. Most of the resources should be targeted in this area. The demographics that do not vote are more likely to be left wing voters.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      voter turn out increased from 2011 to 2014, and Labour dived another 2%.

      • Ergo Robertina 17.1.1

        Voter enrolment was down though (90%; in 2011 it was 93% which makes turnout look better). Although the total number of votes was higher in 2014 while Labour’s votes decreased.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          What’s your read of those data points, ER?

          • Ergo Robertina

            Just figuring that declining enrolment should be factored in to increased turnout. I guess the total votes continue to rise with the population. I’m certainly no ”data points” guru, so I may have interpreted wrongly.

  18. red-blooded 18

    Really? The Missing Million, again?

    1) Totally irrelevant to the issue being discussed, and
    2) Been there, done that.

    It would be great to help create an environment in which people feel more engaged in their society and its democratic processes, but this is very unlikely from the Opposition benches and should certainly not be the focus of Labour’s limited resources.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      2) Been there, done that.

      Hard to see how a bunch of Thorndon Bubble types releasing hot air about the missing million = a sincere try at engaging with them.

      Anyway, I agree with you that Labour cannot “engage” with the missing million, simply because Labour has minimal connections with or strategic interest in, the missing million.

  19. Rosie 19

    So what’s it going to be Mr Little?

    This was Andrew Little in 2006, speaking as Secretary for the EPMU at the time Wayne Mapp (see above) introduced the bill:

    “What sort of country is it that has an employment law that attacks people at their most vulnerable time, when they’ve just started a new job,” he said.
    “What sort of employer is it who is unable to manage workers in a dignified and respectful way?”


    I fully agree with those sentiments. I was at those protests then and I am as angry about the 90 day Law today, as I was then. I want to know what’s changed in Andrew Littles mind, when he now he considers this law could remain after all, but with some tweaking.

    Tweaking the bill will not reassure workers and reduce anxiety as mentioned – take that from the horses mouth (and also, what is the motivation, votes from the bosses?)

    Open mike 17/07/2015

    and can this question please be answered?

    Open mike 17/07/2015

    • Karen 19.1

      +1 Rosie
      I would also like to know why we only have a quote from an internal email and no press statement from Andrew Little that absolutely clarifies the issue. FFS he has a communications team, so start communicating.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        probably not happening because the communication is deemed to be unpalatable.

        • KK

          Maybe further inflaming the issue with the media isn’t in Labour’s interests, and the best thing is not to have another round of stories where the journos frame Little’s clarification of their misunderstanding as a ‘backflip’ or ‘u-turn’. Seems smart to me to clarify with supporters and leave the media to move on to other things.

          • KK

            But I forgot, Colonial Viper is the political genius Labour’s been waiting for, and if they would just listen to him all would be ok.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Like a cheap drunk, a single poll over 30% and it goes right to your head.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            “Explaining is losing”. New Zealand cares about Snapper.

      • Rosie 19.1.2

        It’s all very up in the air. Something was said that has caused confusion and we are left hanging. It’s a biggie too, work rights, I would have thought were a core principle with no room for ambiguity allowed.

        The email that TRP received must have only gone out to people that hold positions within the Party. As a member, I’ve not received anything.

        • Karen

          My suspicion is that there is a shit fight going on behind the scenes.

          No other explanation that I can think of.

          • Rosie

            Lols, those were my thoughts too Karen.

            • Jenny Kirk

              oh for goodness sake, people, give the guy a bit of slack. He was asked a question and on the spur of the moment he made a statement. That statement isn’t wrong, it just needs a bit of clarifying.

              There have been 90 day trials written into union awards and collective agreements for goodness knows how long. The difference between the Labour- oriented ones and the National ones is that the Nats let bosses fire people at will, without reason, and without having to provide proper performance analysis. All Andrew Little was saying is that there has to be a fairer process than that, and he is now clarifying that by saying the former legislation under Labour and the current legislation under National needs to be thoroughly reviewed and amended.

              You are all so ready to jump on the bandwagon the MSM has provided, that you’re not thinking clearly.

              Do you really think a Leader with Andrew Little’s background in working for years in unions, with a chief of staff like Matt McCarten with a similar background, are now going to “screw” the workers?

              We have a different Leader in Andrew Little – one not tied to the old rogernomics ideology. Give the guy a break and start thinking about how you can support him instead of forever throwing him into the lions pit.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Previously Labour had stated that its position was to “scrap” or “abolish” the Government’s 90 day dismissal law.

                Little’s languaging was far softer, and people did notice that.

                • Jenny Kirk

                  Yes – the Government’s 90-day law – but what wasn’t made clear at the time was there had already been in place such a law, which required employers to act in good faith and have good grounds for dismissal – a whole lot different from the Nat Govt’s new law.
                  That’s what has muddled everyone and the media. And needed clarifying.

                  • Karen

                    Jenny, that is the problem. It hasn’t been clarified. There has been an internal email to selected members, nothing to the wider membership, and to be quite frank even the internal email is not clear.

                    Andrew Little needs to say clearly that the 90 day law needs to go and Labour will work with unions to come up with something new that will allow work trial contracts that cannot be abused by bad employers. Pretending that there are no bad employers and that the 90 day law is fair is nonsense.

                    I supported Andrew Little in the leadership contest, but I would have to say I wasn’t at all impressed by his performance this week

                    And just for the record, I have a small business.

          • Jester

            The fact he released the “internal statement” to some union delegates prior to releasing it to the party members would indicate you are probably right Karen.

            • Jenny Kirk

              Nonsense, Jester. It just means some people (union delegates or Party members) were at their computers, or APPs, or phones or whatever they use earlier than others. That “internal statement” is a weekly round-up of what is going on – and goes out simultaneously to all members on the email circuit.

              • Jester

                Well Rosie still hadn’t received anything 5hrs after TRP received his so perhaps their may have been a mix up somewhere.

                Incidently i also haven’t received anything about it but to be fair I can’t remember if I blocked the emails after taking the opportunity to vote on the first leadership contest.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  the email only goes out to branch and LEC office holders, not to all members.

                  • Jenny Kirk

                    oh yes – I forgot that, CR. But members can ask to be sent it …… assuming of course that they know about it. Mmmm – a bit of a condundrum ….
                    Well – those of you who now know about it, can ask NZLP HO to add you to the mailing list. Its called The Weekly Wrap.

    • marty mars 19.2

      Thank you Rosie

  20. I’m continually amazed at how many layers of management there are in business enterprises and the public sector and how much the ratio of managers to managed has been shifting in favour of the former – and yet, employers still say they need a probationary period to establish whether the people who THEY recruit, select, train and manage – using all their highly remunerated skills – are right for the job.

    IF an employer /manager :
    a) gets the job specification right, works out what pre-employment skills, education, experience, personal attributes etc, and what post-employment training & development an employee needs in order to do be able to do the job successfully;
    b) selects the right person using objective criteria and rigorous processes; and,
    c) trains and manages that person appropriately – then surely a probationary period ought not be needed.

    I do accept that no recruitment and selection process is fool proof and that a lot of Kiwi businesses are small scale and their R&S is a bit hit and miss – but even so, if an employer wants the right to make demands on their employees to get it right first time and to keep it right – how about leading by example? And there’s little more important to any enterprise than getting the selection of your staff ‘right first time’. Trial and error is hardly efficient, effective or economic – leaving aside the vexed question of how equitable it is.

    And as to the notion that employers are the ‘job providers, the risk takers, the sustainers of business, production and society’ :

    employers provide jobs because they need workers to run their business – the social good that flows from the existence of those jobs is, for most employers, secondary to that;

    there are loads of employers who take little or no personal risk, in no small part due to the way company law is framed and, if they do take a financial risk, they do so in anticipation of significant rewards;

    the sustaining of business is not confined to employers because without employees the business could not be sustained;

    production does not have to be organised in the way we currently do and arguably it shouldn’t be because it’s demonstrably inefficient and wasteful.

    In fact society might be a whole lot better if we rethought the way we organise production – including the relations thereof.

    • Colonial Rawshark 20.1

      In fact society might be a whole lot better if we rethought the way we organise production – including the relations thereof.

      This is absolutely critical. Labour and Greens will only tinker though.

  21. Michael 21

    “As part of our overall policy review we are working with businesses, workers and their unions”. The order says it all. IMHO Labour should adopt all the CTU’s recommendations, at pages 59-66, of its report: Under Pressure: A Detailed Report Into Insecure Work In New Zealand (CTU, Wellington, October 2013), without any bullshit or prevarication. That would tell New Zealanders where the Party stands on the struggle between capital and labour, once and for all.

  22. Save NZ 22

    Labour needs to ‘speed up’ to finalise their policies – voters need actual policy after the ‘consultation’ with business and unions so they can decide who to vote for. Hedging bets (like on TPP) so that you don’t offend anyone just makes voters feel that Labour can’t be trusted.

    The trick is to understand what is the moral and right thing to do within the policy and understand what voters want. Then be ready for the Nats dirty politics campaign.

    It seems to work for NZ First to be able to say what their policy is very simply, not some sort of ‘third way’ mish mash or policy or a policy of ‘nothing concrete’.

    Public want clarity.

    As an issue becomes public, Labour could state their position on their Facebook page and website for example. That way the MSM don’t go crazy with speculation.

    The Nats are slippery but voters want change – Northland is an example.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt acts to protect NZers from harmful content
    New Zealanders will be better protected from harmful or illegal content as a result of work to design a modern, flexible and coherent regulatory framework, Minister of Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti announced today. New Zealand currently has a content regulatory system that is comprised of six different arrangements covering some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Consultation on exemption of new builds from proposed tax rules
    The Government has today confirmed new builds will be exempt from planned changes to the tax treatment of residential investment property.  Public consultation is now open on details of the proposals, which stop interest deductions being claimed for residential investment properties other than new builds.   “The Government’s goal is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech for Predator Free 2050 Conference
    Introduction E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa   Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei i raro i te kaupapa o te rā Ko Ayesha Verrall toku ingoa No ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New stock exchange to help grow small businesses
    A new share trading market, designed as a gateway to the NZX for small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has been granted a licence by the Government. Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said Catalist Markets Ltd will provide a simpler and more affordable ‘stepping stone’ for SMEs to raise capital. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Visa extensions provide certainty to employers and 10,000 visa holders
    Changes to onshore visas will provide employers and visa holders with more certainty, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. Around 10,000 Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas due to expire between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 will be extended for another six months to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Border class exceptions approved for more farm workers and vets
    The Government has approved border class exceptions for an additional 200 dairy workers and 50 veterinarians to enter New Zealand, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.  “It is clear from conversations with the dairy and veterinarian sectors that they are facing workforce pressures. These border exceptions will go a long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More freezers and South Island hub to support vaccine roll-out
    A South Island hub and 17 new ultra-low temperature freezers will help further prepare New Zealand for the ramp up of the vaccination programme in the second half of this year, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new freezers arrived in New Zealand on 27 May. They’re currently being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech at the release of Climate Change Commission's final advice
    Good morning – and thank you Prime Minister. Over the last three and half years we have been putting in place the foundations for a low-carbon Aotearoa that will be a catalyst for job creation, innovation, and prosperity for decades to come. In that future, many of our everyday tasks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Achievable blueprint for addressing climate change released
    Report says Government making good progress on emissions reduction, but more action required Meeting climate targets achievable and affordable with existing technology Economic cost of delaying action higher than taking action now Benefits from climate action include health improvements and lower energy bills All Ministers to help meet climate targets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to release of Climate Commission final report
    A few years ago in a speech in Auckland, I compared climate change to the nuclear free movement of roughly four decades ago. And I did so for a few reasons. Firstly, because the movement of the 1980s represented a life or death situation for the Pacific, and so does ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Barrister Michael Robinson has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Robinson graduated with a BA and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1996, and commenced practice as a solicitor with Brookfields in Auckland.  In 1998 he travelled to London ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government takes action to improve protections for subcontractors
    The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Bill – which provides greater financial protection for subcontractors, has passed its first reading today. The Bill amends the retention provisions in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) to provide increased confidence and transparency for subcontractors that retention money they are owed is safe. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 1 million more Pfizer doses to arrive in July
    Pfizer has scheduled delivery of an estimated 1 million doses of vaccine to New Zealand during July, COVID1-9 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These consignments will double the total number of Pfizer doses we have received this year to more than 1,900,000 – enough to fully vaccinate almost 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Long-term home of the Independent Children’s Monitor identified
    The Independent Children’s Monitor (Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake), which is currently located within the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), will become its own departmental agency within Government. “Following the recommendations of several reviews, Cabinet agreed in 2019 to build a significantly expanded independent monitor for children in care,” Carmel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Racing Integrity Board members announced
    The new Racing Integrity Board will be up and running from July 1 to ensure high standards of animal welfare, integrity and professionalism in the racing industry. Racing Minister Grant Robertson today announced the appointments to the new Board: Sir Bruce Robertson KNZM – Chair Kristy McDonald ONZM QC Penelope ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt crackdown on organised crime continues
    A major operation against multiple organised crime groups with international links will make a significant dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks, Police Minister Poto Williams says. “I want to take an opportunity to congratulate the Police for their role in Operation Trojan Shield. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Farm planning framework supports farmers into the future
    A new framework, agreed between Government and industry, will make it easier for farmers and growers to integrate future greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater regulatory requirements into their farm planning, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “The Good Farm Planning Principles Guide out today, provides guidance for how farmers can organise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for Canterbury
    The Government has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to the Canterbury floods. The Minister of Social Development and Employment, Hon Carmel Sepuloni says $500,000 will be made available to help with the clean-up. The flooding in Canterbury has been a significant and adverse event damaging farmland, homes, roads ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago