The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.
“He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries were included under the legislation. If he meant it was included under the general mining provisions for high risk industries - he was wrong. And if he meant it was covered by last year’s Health and Safety (Pike River) legislation - he was also wrong. The Pike River provisions for quarrying were taken out of the bill at the select committee stage.
“It’s absurd that such a dangerous occupation is not included when mini golf is. It was only a matter of months ago that Murray Taylor died in a massive rock fall at a limestone quarry at Waikiri in Canterbury.
“This just reinforces that this legislation that should have been saving Kiwi lives has now become a national joke.
“The Government has wasted years on this bill then rushes it and it leaves out vulnerable workers like those in our quarries.
“This proposed law is a sad joke that does nothing to fix New Zealand’s appalling rate of deaths at work,” says Sue Moroney.