From today, Kiwi women effectively working for free the rest of 2017 - based on gender pay gap

With the average New Zealand man earning 13.1 per cent more than their female colleagues, today marks the date after which women will effectively be working for free for the rest of the year.

The new Labour-led Government is working on new laws to reduce that gender pay gap, after scrapping the previous National Government's pay equality bill introduced to Parliament in July this year.

Central to the new government's pay equality legislation will be the new Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter, who spoke on TVNZ1's Breakfast today on the causes of that inequality.

"The gender pay gap is the legacy of historic discrimination, and so once you account for age, experience, education, all of those factors, there's still an unexplained gender pay gap," Ms Genter said.

The gender pay gap means women are effectively working for free for until the end of 2017. Source: Breakfast

"About 80 per cent of that, it's hard to determine exactly what causes it, but unconscious, conscious bias - it's something we can overcome, but we have to recognise it exists and have explicit measures and policies in place to end it."     

On why the gender pay gap has stagnated over the last 20 years in New Zealand, dropping over just three per cent, Ms Genter signalled the previous National Government's indifference.

"I think the reason it hasn't come down as much is because there hasn't been a real ambitious plan to close the gap in the last nine years," Ms Genter said.

"The new government is very committed to this. We're going to walk the talk, we're going to close the gap in the core public sector, but we're also going to be working closely with the private sector in championing those businesses who are taking the steps to close the gap."    

Ms Genter said the Labour-led Government's pay equity legislation would be brought to Parliament sometime in 2018.

Greens MP Julie-Anne Genter said even accounting for age, experience, education the gender pay gap still persists in 2017. Source: Breakfast



Watch: United Future leader Damian Light says he's not 'finished' in politics as party disbands

United Future leader Damian Light says he and other party MPs "haven't finished in politics" as the party reveals it has voted to disband.

Mr Light made the announcement this morning citing falling vote numbers and failing to reach to the 5 per cent threshold at this years' election.

Speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast, Mr Light said he would find a new role in New Zealand's political landscape.

"I certainly haven't finished in politics and I know a lot of the other candidates as well have still got quite a strong passion for it," he said.

Peter Dunne - 'I'm sorry to see it go'

Meanwhile, former party leader and founder Peter Dunne says the disbanding of the party following his retirement this year is "sad but understandable".

Mr Dunne said in a statement that he did not attend the annual general meeting at the weekend where the party voted to disband, but he understands the reasons why they made that decision.

After three decades, the United Future leader won't be standing for Ohariu after polling saw him in trouble. Source: Breakfast

"Without a Parliamentary seat, and with limited resources it will always be difficult for small parties founded on ideals and values, not personal wealth and ambition to compete in today's political environment," Mr Dunne said.

"Nevertheless, I am extremely proud of what United Future able to achieve as a support partner to two Labour-led and three National-led Governments from 2002 to 2017, and I express my deepest thanks to our members, candidates and supporters during that time.

"UnitedFuture was a Party in the Liberal Democratic tradition, and while I'm sorry to see it go, I know that the values it espoused will not continue and that the Liberal Democratic flame in New Zealand's political culture will burn again in the future.

"I take this opportunity to wish Damian Light and involved in the Party all the best for their political futures - they have much to contribute."

Mr Dunne held the Ohariu seat for more than 33 years - since 1984 - and announced his retirement just weeks out from this year's general election.

Mr Light says he's "proud" of his party's record of "making MMP work". Source: Breakfast

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Video: Hilary Barry gives detailed explanation of the gender pay gap - 'You lady, are working for free'

The gender pay gap means woman are effectively working for free for until the end of 2017.

The gender pay gap means women are effectively working for free for until the end of 2017. Source: Breakfast