Maori Party To Vote Against the Employment Probation Bill
Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader, Maori Party and Hone Harawira, Employment Spokesperson for the Maori Party
Wednesday 23 August 2006
The Maori Party today has released its position on the Employment Relations (Probationary Employment) Amendment Bill.
In a joint approach, Co-leader, Dr Pita Sharples and Employment Spokesperson, Hone Harawira, have informed key
stakeholders of the decision the caucus has reached regarding the concept of probationary employment.
Dr Sharples was addressing a rally in Aotea Square in Auckland organised by the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing
Union; while at the same time Mr Harawira announced the position at a forum convened by the NZ Council of Trade Unions
to promote the Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.
“We have always said, that we wanted the Bill to go through to Select Committee in order to provide an opportunity for
people to have a say on the concept of probationary employment” stated Dr Sharples.
“Our position, in voting the Bill through to Select Committee was to open up the dialogue, discussion and debate, for
the public to have a say”.
“We had some key issues to consider as we reviewed the Bill" said Hone Harawira, Employment spokesperson for the Maori
The Maori Party will always support any initiatives which will increase and improve Maori employment levels".
"We will always support the right for the rangatiratanga of both employers and employees to be upheld; and neither needs
to be in opposition to the other. Both can co-exist in a respectful and safe working environment".
"We were also keen to promote opportunities for Maori businesses to thrive, by enhancing proposals to be worker
“These were all factors that we had to weigh up, when analysing the close to 1500 submissions that were received”.
“We were impressed by the quality of the submissions, the considered thought that had gone into articulating the views
of employment lawyers, workers, employers and employees, businesses, unions, individuals, and family members” stated Dr
“There are still outstanding issues such as how to address the drastic situation for Maori of joblessness and
inter-generational unemployment; the reality that Maori, if they have a job, continue to be the bulk of the working
poor; and the ever-present face of institutional racism.
“We will continue to advocate for initiatives to address these, but as for the Mapp Bill, our decision has been that we
cannot support the Bill, and we will be voting against it when it next comes before the House” ended Dr Sharples.