INDEPENDENT NEWS

Staff prayers PC gone mad

Published: Tue 30 Sep 2003 11:34 AM
Staff prayers PC gone mad
Staff taking work time to attend morning karakia and waiata at Parliament is a waste of work time and political correctness gone absolutely mad, says National MP Judith Collins.
"I think it's fine if people want to say prayers and sing songs for stress relief or their own personal development, but it's ridiculous that all staff at parliament can drop tools and go to this in work time.
"The Parliamentary Service is saying that this is 'part of learning about different cultures' so when do our Indian, Samoan, Scottish or Chinese get their morning prayer or stress session?
"It is interesting that Maori prayer has reached such importance, when the tradition of saying grace was dropped from the State Banquet for the Queen's visit in 2002.
"Helen Clark said at the time that New Zealand was a secular society and guests could say their own prayers if they wished. There seems to be one rule for Maori culture and another rule for other cultures.
"I would like to know how widespread this practice is going to be in the public service. As it is, if all of Parliament's 1000 employees decided to go tomorrow this would mean 500 hours of lost work time in one day.
"National staff are at their desks and working before 8.30 in the morning when this prayer starts. That's what the taxpayer pays them for. This is a huge waste of public money," Ms Collins said.

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