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Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers

The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.

“Yesterday I wrote to the Prime Minister, Minister Woodhouse, Peter Dunne and the Maori Party with solutions to the mess that the current bill is in, offering to sit down together to find a fix we can all agree on.

“In their arrogance, they haven’t seen fit to even acknowledge its receipt. That is a disgrace, and an insult not only to the memory of the Pike River families but to families all over New Zealand who worry about their sons and daughters coming home from work each day.

“Maori workers have the highest rates of serious injury in the workforce yet the Maori Party is voting for watered down legislation which excludes our most dangerous workplaces including farms and some quarries. They are failing their people. Peter Dunne is choosing to play politics instead of doing the right thing by workers.

“Instead of fixing this bizarre piece of legislation, the Government and its support parties have chosen to press on through Parliament with a crazily complex bill that exempts the very workers it should be protecting.

“This is not the time for playing politics. In Parliament today, MPs from all parties could choose to do the right thing and fix its fundamental flaws,” Andrew Little says.