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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The start of a new year is the traditional time to assess where we are at and set goals and targets for the next 12 months or so. Many of us will  be still persevering with some worthy New Year’s resolutions.

It’s a similar process in Government as Parliament  resumes with fresh energy and impetus, even more so because there will be an election sometime in 2017.

With a new year comes a new Prime Minister and revitalised cabinet. Bill English who is a proven and experienced  politician. I’m really pleased he is our new Prime Minister and I’m looking forward to working as closely with him as I did with John Key. Its also twenty years since we had a farmer as Prime Minister.

As Deputy Prime Minister, Paula Bennett represents the broad church that is the modern National Party. She has handled the big positive changes to social welfare which have so successful in reducing the number of people dependent on social welfare and into work.

The new leadership team is a new ministry that blends experience with freshness.

A strong and growing economy will continue to be the watchwords of the National government.

Freedom of Contract Private Members Bill

One of my projects for the new year is  to promote my own bill which will  allow higher income earners to contract out of the personal grievance provisions of the Employment Relations Act.

The personal grievance provisions in the Employment Relations Act are intended to protect vulnerable workers from unjustifiable dismissal or disadvantage. But in doing so the legislation over-rides any contract that has been entered into by the parties Even  a chief executive, who has signed a contract with the board saying that either party could terminate the agreement on a no-fault basis with six months’ pay, could still take out a personal grievance.

While this  is great for employment lawyers, it means businesses, particularly small businesses, are constantly at risk of costly personal grievance claims as a result of bad hiring choices.


The Employment Relations (Freedom of Contract for Higher Earners) Amendment Bill will amend the Employment Relations Act to allow employees with an annual gross salary over $150,000 to contract out of the personal grievance provisions. Well-paid CEOs are capable of bargaining for themselves. I am  looking forward in helping making this Bill the law of the land.


Authorised by Scott Simpson, 614 Pollen St,Thames