'Less growth and fewer jobs' - Govt's proposed employment law changes won't 'get us anywhere' - Simon Bridges

National Party leader Simon Bridges says the government’s planned changes to employment law don't "necessarily get us anywhere".

Labour’s Iain Lees-Galloway insists the government’s impending employment law changes won’t hamper strong Kiwi businesses. Source: Q+A

The Opposition leader said it was no surprise there were business confidence issues after Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said businesses need to be "resilient" in coping with an increase to minimum wage and proposed changes to strengthen collective bargaining.

"I don't think it's any wonder that you've got business confidence issues that ultimately should worry us all because it does mean less growth, less revenue for the government and fewer jobs," Mr Bridges told TVNZ1's Breakfast today.

"The problem with this bill (Employment Relations Amendment Bill) is actually not one thing…there's literally dozens of things that all amount to a re-unionisation," he said.

"My point would be it is cost and compliance that doesn't necessarily get us anywhere, if I thought it would genuinely make a massive difference for workers but I personally don't think that's what the unions will do."

"It is cost and compliance without good purpose for workers, for the businesses, for the economy."

Mr Bridges claimed the government's changes would affect even small businesses.

"Well, actually it will affect them (small businesses) if the sector-by-sector fair pay rounds are in their area, Mr Bridges said.

"All those things add up…it's not overnight but over time, it will have an affect here.

"You're making it harder for the most vulnerable to get into jobs by these changes and you’re slowing down the jobs market.

"My point really is re-unionising, adding on the cost, that isn't going to help that process (of assisting low income workers), actually it will hinder it."

The National Party leader says proposed changes only add additional costs and compliances for business without any real benefit for workers. Source: Breakfast

Hamilton bus drivers set to strike this morning over pay

Bus services in Hamilton will be disrupted for two hours this morning, as drivers strike over pay.

The strike comes amid a living wage dispute between First Union members and Go Bus transport. 

The company Go Bus said it was frustrated with First Union calling a short-notice strike.

However, the union said the company was advised of the strike ballot more than three weeks ago.

Busit said they will do their best to run services during the strike, which starts at 7.30am.  

Waikato Regional Council are advising commuters to visit the Busit Facebook page for updates. 

School bus services will not be affected. 

A bus driver at the wheel.


'It's actually shaking the house' - Lightning storm hits Taranaki causing power cuts

Power has been restored to 1000 properties in New Plymouth after lightning strikes early this morning cut electricty.

The PowerCo website showed the suburbs of Lynmouth and Inglewood experienced outages from 3.26am and just before 4.00am on Monday.

Around 250 properties in Straford remain without electricity.

Taranaki Civil Defence says MetService advised that thunderstorms with potentially high rainfall rates of more than 25 millimetres an hour have moved into Taranaki early this morning.

"My god just got woken by a all mighty crack in Stratford!" one Facebook user wrote.

"I can't sleep through this thunderstorm. It's actually shaking the house," someone posted on Twitter.

MetService says rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams and rivers, and could lead to slips.

A severe weather watch remains in place in the area until 9.00am.

At least 1300 properties are without power in Taranaki after lightning strikes early this morning. Source: 1 NEWS