Jacinda Ardern today announced there would be no more than "one or two" fair pay agreements in the current term, after saying a "vacuum" had been left as the framework around fair pay agreements was moving at a slow pace.
The Prime Minister made the announcement at the Westpac business breakfast alongside the creation of a Business Advisory Council, which will be chaired by Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon.
Ms Ardern described fair pay agreements, which establish minimum terms and conditions across industries, as the source of "a bit of discussion" for the business community.
"Going slowly on their design to make sure we get it right, has left a bit of a vacuum. That is why I am confirming today that there will be no more than one or two fair pay agreements concluded during this term."
The Government set up a working group to develop a fair pay framework which would deliver their report in November.
"There has been room left for a bit of speculation around what fair pay agreements might do," Ms Ardern said. "I fundamentally believe that fair pay agreements have the ability to be win-win, the chance to create a level playing field.
"But I can also tell you what they are not here to do. They are not here to fundamentally disrupt our employment relations landscape, and they will not for instance be accompanied by the ability to take strike action."
During the speech Ms Ardern attempted to address the "elephant in the room" of low business confidence, referring to it instead as "a flashing great neon sign with giant lights and fireworks going off behind it".
"Certainty shouldn't be confused for stasis and complacency, which are the enemy of progress, and for that matter the enemy of innovation," she said. "The reality is that our economy faces a number of challenges, global in their nature, that by working together we must confront to protect our long term prosperity."
National Party leader Simon Bridges said Ms Ardern instead needed to take "real steps to support businesses, not driving uncertainty through endless working groups and bad policy".
"This is a Government that believes it can talk its way out of anything, but instead of trying to shout over the conveyor belt of weak economic indicators they should be taking concrete steps to change their anti-growth policies," Mr Brides said.