Aroha Advertiser- April 2016

Columns
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Congratulations to Bryan Turner and the Keep Te Aroha Beautiful team. They have won the recent Keep NZ Beautiful nationwide campaign. Their work in keeping Te Aroha clean and tidy is well known but the special work they have done to get rid of graffiti is worthy of special acknowledgment. Congratulations to all.

Shop Trading Hours

Easter Sunday holds special significance for many New Zealanders but that said our Easter trading rules are an absolute dog’s breakfast. There is a demand from many communities for change especially in regions like ours where tourism plays a large part in our life and businesses. Over the years there have been several attempts to get majority agreement in Parliament to sort the mess out but all have been unsuccessful until now. It is looking likely that local District Councils will soon be given the authority to make local arrangements to suit local situations about retail trading rules for Easter Sunday. Special provision will mean that people who don’t want to work on Easter Sunday won’t have to and they won’t have to provide any reason for their decision. I am supporting the change to allow the decision making at a local level.

Zero tolerance for zero-hours contacts

It was certainly a very momentous day when Parliament voted unanimously to abolish so called zero- hour contracts. I was very happy to vote to end this unfair employment practice. It was good to be there in Parliament’s debating chamber when the vote was taken and to be part of an historic vote.
I believe it’s wrong to expect employees to sign up to an agreement to be available for any hours of work, where they are required to be available to work when but where there is absolutely no commitment from their employer of any actual work hours at all.

Support for the less well off

Ensuring the right balance has been struck between protecting low paid workers and the creation of jobs is a priority for me as a Member of Parliament.  There is an adjustment to the minimum hourly pay rate each year but this year the increase has been higher than in recent years. Now at $15.25 an hour I am expecting there will be a further increase again next year.

Another increase has been for those low income families who need support. The $25 a week increase announced in last year’s Budget has now commenced. Over half a million children will benefit from these changes.

Please never hesitate to make contact with me if I can be of assistance with any matter. For an appointment at my regular Te Aroha constituent meetings please phone my electorate office on 07 868-3529.

 

Authorised by Scott Simpson MP, 614 Pollen Street, Thames