Ques­tion 2

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Jamie Strange (Labour) Ques­tion 1 In­equal­ity of­ten con­trib­utes to fam­ily vi­o­lence. Labour has a range of poli­cies to re­duce in­equal­ity in our so­ci­ety and act to elim­i­nate vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren, fo­cus­ing on preven­tion, support ser­vices and jus­tice.

Labour will adopt a col­lab­o­ra­tive, re­sourced, long-term New Zealand ac­tion plan to elim­i­nate vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren in con­sul­ta­tion with other par­ties and the sec­tor.

We will pro­vide $60 mil­lion over four years for fam­ily and sex­ual vi­o­lence to support front­line ser­vices, pri­mary preven­tion and ed­u­ca­tion and will in­crease support for tran­si­tional hous­ing. Labour will also re­form the jus­tice sys­tem to pro­vide real jus­tice to sur­vivors while pro­tect­ing the right to be in­no­cent. We will also re­view the op­er­a­tion of pro­tec­tion or­ders and re­view pros­e­cu­tion guide­lines to en­sure of­fend­ers are ap­pro­pri­ately ar­rested and charged. Ques­tion 2 Labour is com­mit­ted to good jobs, de­cent work con­di­tions and fair wages. Work­ers should have a voice through col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing and in­de­pen­dent trade unions and need a strong plat­form of ba­sic stan­dards, in­clud­ing a de­cent min­i­mum wage, the right to ne­go­ti­ate col­lec­tively, health and safety pro­vi­sions, ad­e­quate hol­i­days, rest breaks and re­dun­dancy pro­vi­sions.

We will in­crease the min­i­mum wage by $2 an hour in our first year, to $15 an hour in our first 100 days in gov­ern­ment and to $16.25 an hour in early 2015. If eco­nomic con­di­tions al­low, we will set a tar­get of re­turn­ing the min­i­mum wage to two-thirds of the av­er­age wage by the end of our sec­ond term.

Labour will also en­sure gov­ern­ment bod­ies con­tract only with busi­nesses that are good em­ploy­ers. We will also hold a com­mis­sion of in­quiry into wages and col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing, re­view health and safety laws, and abol­ish sec­ondary tax.

Will your party tackle the is­sue of wages and work­ing hours in ar­eas of the pri­mary in­dus­try sec­tor? Some em­ploy­ees work a 10-12 hour day, have lit­tle time off and when their con­tracted salaries stack up against the hours worked, they work for un­der the min­i­mum wage. Would your party move to reg­u­late and po­lice th­ese in­dus­tries in terms of pay, work­ing hours and hol­i­days? Louise Up­ston (Na­tional) Ques­tion 1 Na­tional is fo­cused on pre­vent­ing crime and re­duc­ing its im­pact by im­prov­ing the re­spon­sive­ness of the jus­tice sys­tem for vic­tims. We brought in tougher sen­tenc­ing and are pro­vid­ing more ser­vices, support and pro­tec­tion to vic­tims.

We have the low­est crime rate in 35 years, but sadly, vi­o­lent crime is not re­duc­ing as quickly. About half of all homi­cides in New Zealand re­sult from fam­ily vi­o­lence. This is un­ac­cept­able so we are in­tro­duc­ing a cross­gov­ern­ment pack­age to ad­dress fam­ily vi­o­lence. We’ll trial GPS tech­nol­ogy to keep vic­tims safer, test an in­ten­sive case man­age­ment ser­vice for vic­tims at high risk of se­ri­ous harm or death, and ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity of a con­vic­tion dis­clo­sure scheme.

We’re also work­ing to de­velop a com­pre­hen­sive, long-term ap­proach to break the cy­cle of fam­ily vi­o­lence through fo­cus­ing on chang­ing at­ti­tudes and be­hav­iour and us­ing early in­ter­ven­tions for drug and al­co­hol ad­dic­tion. Ques­tion 2 Na­tional is sup­port­ing peo­ple into work with a bal­anced min­i­mum wage that in­creases yearon-year, the in­tro­duc­tion of the 90-day trial scheme, and the start­ing-out wage to support young peo­ple into work.

Na­tional be­lieves em­ploy­ees and em­ploy­ers should be able to agree on flex­i­ble work prac­tices to suit both par­ties. Our pro­posed changes to the Em­ploy­ment Re­la­tions Act are aimed at im­prov­ing fair­ness, flex­i­bil­ity and choice in the labour mar­ket.

Na­tional has raised the min­i­mum wage ev­ery year we’ve been in of­fice. It is 50 per cent of the av­er­age hourly rate, the high­est ra­tio in the OECD. We be­lieve set­ting the min­i­mum wage rep­re­sents a care­ful bal­ance be­tween pro­tect­ing low-paid work­ers and en­sur­ing jobs are not lost. If com­pa­nies can pay more, we en­cour­age them to do so. But to dras­ti­cally in­crease the min­i­mum wage would see jobs lost and com­pa­nies go un­der.

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