Release: National gaslights women fighting for equal pay

National has scrapped the pay equity taskforce that fights for equal pay for women and looks at ethnic pay gaps.

“Scrapping the taskforce that helps women get equal pay feels like we’re back to the 1800s fighting for the right to vote,” spokesperson for women Jan Tinetti said.

“This is a blow to women who have at some point in their lives wondered why they make less than men do.

“Nicola Willis has put out a statement today claiming she’s committed to equal pay while she does her best to rebuild the glass ceiling by cutting funding for it.

“She’s getting rid of the six roles that support claims for women to be paid fairly and equally with those who do similar jobs. They provide guidance and support on the pay equity process and advise on pay equity claims.

“New Zealand has a proud history of standing up for fairness and equality and this flies in the face of that,” Jan Tinetti said.

“This taskforce has helped settle around 12 pay equity claims, and there are at least 25 claims outstanding that could now be at risk,” spokesperson for workplace relations and safety Camilla Belich said.

“I am shocked that Nicola Willis, who has benefitted from the courage and determination of women before her, is making a decision that will leave women worse off.

“Her statement is gaslighting women. The recent extra funding was to build capacity for pay equity, not to shut it down. Her argument that the taskforce has been so successful that its work is no longer needed is farcical.

“If she was truly committed to helping other women get what they deserve to be paid, she’d be funding this taskforce so claims could continue to be settled,” Camilla Belich said.