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Judith Collins says historic health and safety bill needs 'tweaking'

Judith Collins denies there has been a backbench revolt over health and safety changes, but says a bill needs some "tweaking" before it progresses through Parliament.

The biggest health and safety changes in 20 years have been delayed because National MPs can't reach agreement. Source: 1 NEWS

The biggest health and safety changes in 20 years have been delayed because National MPs can't reach agreement.

The Health and Safety Reform bill has passed its first reading in Parliament but is now stuck at select committee after MPs failed to reach agreement on how far the changes to health and safety should go.

ONE News has been told by multiple sources that National MPs have been under pressure from business, fishing, forestry and farming groups to ensure the changes don't affect them dramatically.

It's understood there's been heated arguments within National about the bill, and that pressure has seen National MPs weaken some of the proposed reforms.

Most specifically a proposal to ensure all workplaces have a health and safety representative in it has been changed so that workplaces with fewer than 20 employees are no longer bound by that rule.

One of those said to be agitating for changes is former cabinet Minister Judith Collins, although she maintained today there was no caucus division over the issue.

"I don't think there are any bad things, I just think it needs a bit of tweaking and that's the right thing to do."

She would not elaborate what changes needed to be made, but said "it needs to be a little bit more practical for people".

The Prime Minister said on Monday that changes will have to be made to the bill because of unhappiness within National's caucus.

He says they've been lobbied extensively on the issue.

A spokeswoman for Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse says the bill has been delayed to ensure the government "gets it right".

It will be at least another two months before the Transport and Industrial Relations committee reports back on it.