Government's Fair Pay Agreements will drive up costs for businesses and is 'another step back to the 1970s' -National

The National Party says Fair Pay Agreements being introduced by the Government will drive up costs for businesses.

The Government announced today that former Prime Minister Jim Bolger will lead a Government working group of business people and unions that'll flesh out the new system for negotiating pay and conditions.

But National's Workplace Relations spokesperson Scott Simpson says Fair Pay Agreements are "another step in going back to the 1970s".

"There won't be an opportunity for individual businesses to employ people on their own terms. And it'll be bad for employees just as much as it is for employers," Mr Simpson said.

Mr Bolger was a Minister of Labour under the National Party before his time as Prime Mininster. He believes there needs to be a new way of working to ensure no one misses out.

"There's extreme wealth at one end, and frankly extreme poverty at another end. I don't find that a successful model," he said.

Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says the Fair Pay Agreement system "is one of the most significant changes that a Government has proposed to the industrial relations framework for many years". 

And he said Mr Bolger "is exactly the right man to pull that team together" as chair of the working group.

Fair Pay Agreements allow bosses and unions to work together to set minimum terms and conditions for all workers in that industry.

"The best example of this is the care and support worker settlement where everyone is a care and support worker. No matter who their employer is, regardless of whether they are in a union or not, they now have a set of minimum terms and conditions," Mr Lees-Galloway said.

There were concerns that could lead to industry-wide strikes, so the Government is banning them. 

"There are other ways to deal with impasses and disagreements than just industrial action," the Minister said.

The agreements won't be available until at least next year.

Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger will lead the Fair Pay Agreements. Source: 1 NEWS

Government targeting youth issues in new $4 million health and wellbeing survey

The Government is urging young New Zealanders to have a say on the issues that affect their health and wellbeing in a new survey.

Budget 2018 set aside up to $4 million over four years for a Youth Health and Wellbeing survey.

"This Government is committed to listening to our rangatahi so we can achieve the best outcomes for youth health and wellbeing," Minister for Youth Peeni Henare said.

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni thinks previous surveys on the issue have lacked funding.

"In recent years, this survey has lacked consistency and certainty of funding despite it being one of the few robust sources of information about our young people's needs," Ms Sepuloni said.

In a statement released today Mr Henare outlined what the survey hopes to achieve.

"This survey will provide information covering a range of areas including culture and ethnicity, home and family life, the school environment, health, risky behaviours, injuries, employment, exposure to violence and community connectedness.

"In addition, the survey will explore expanding our youth health data to include emerging concerns such as internet safety in a mobile age, use of performance enhancing drugs in secondary school sports, and internet and gaming addiction," he said.

The survey will be carried out once every three years, from 2018/2019 onwards.

People enjoy the sea and sand at a beach in Christchurch, New Zealand.
People enjoy the sea and sand at a beach in Christchurch, New Zealand. Source:


Hamilton man buys Lotto ticket 'on a whim' while taking kids for haircut and strikes $9.3m jackpot

A trip to take the kids for a haircut has lead to a Hamilton man striking the $9.3 million Lotto Powerball jackpot.

The man who wants to remain anonymous had taken his kids for a haircut at a mall and then popped into Chartwell Lotto for a ticket in Saturday night's draw "on a whim" before heading back to the car at Chartwell shopping centre. 

"I just put the ticket in my wallet and got on with our day," he said in a statement issued by Lotto. 

It wasn't until Sunday evening that the man checked his ticket. 

"Then I saw Powerball had been won too - but I had no idea I'd bought a ticket from the winning store, let alone that the winning ticket was sitting right next to me," he said. 

Then he saw "Major Prize Winner" show up on his Lotto app. 

"The kids weren't too sure what was going on, so I took a depth breath to collect myself. Then I turned to them and said "What would you do if we won Lotto?'"

A puppy, holiday and new house were all on the shopping list. 

He checked the numbers again before telling his kids. 

"I really couldn't believe it. I felt like I was in a dream! My youngest son started jumping and shouting." 

The man - still trembling with the shock - called his friends, who rushed over thinking something was wrong.

The winner collected his prize at the Lotto NZ Auckland Head Office this morning. 

"I still can't believe that I'll be able to tick off some of the things my kids and I chatted about on Sunday night," he said. 

Lotto Powerball (file picture).
Lotto Powerball (file picture). Source: Lotto