Workplace Relations Minister accepts some Kiwi businesses will not survive employment law changes

Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says New Zealand needs a high-skill, high-wage economy and accepts that some businesses will not survive some of its policy changes.

Speaking on TVNZ 1's Q+A this morning, Mr Lees-Galloway told Corin Dann he wanted to see union membership among workers increase, but the government would not opt for compulsory membership in the Employment Relations Amendment Bill.

"The evidence is very, very strong from around the world that where industries have high union density, where people are covered by collective agreements, their wages rise much faster than the rate of inflation," said Mr Lees-Galloway.

He accepted that some businesses would not be able to operate under its plans and he said the change would be implemented with enough time for businesses to choose whether they could continue.

"Operating in a global market means that businesses need to be resilient. They need to be able to work with the different market forces," he said.

"What we as a government have to do is make sure there is an environment in which new businesses can develop; new jobs can be created; and as thing change for people, new opportunities become available for them."

Mr Lees-Galloway also argued that planned changes to the minimum wage in New Zealand should not be a detriment to strong Kiwi businesses, and if they are then the businesses aren't resilient enough.

"If a small change to the minimum wage is going to be that detrimental to them then they don't sound resilient," Iain Lees-Galloway said.

"What we have to do is signal to businesses, as we have done, what our plans are for the minimum wage and for our other industrial law changes."

National spokesperson for workplace relations Scott Simpson issued a statement in response to Mr Lees-Galloway's comments on Q+A today.

"Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees Galloway’s gob-smacking high-handed attitude to small and medium sized Kiwi businesses on TVNZ’s Q&A this morning will do nothing to boost sagging business confidence or employment and wage growth," Mr Simpson said.

"It's the height of arrogance to say that Kiwi businesses don’t know what they are doing if they struggle to cope with some of the highest minimum pay rates in the world. Mr Lees Galloway writes them off by saying businesses 'come and go'."

The Employment Relations Amendment Bill is before Parliamentary Select Committee.

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



Owner of dog who became internet sensation after Kawakawa escape speaks with Seven Sharp

A Bay of Islands woman told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp she is "never going to live this down" after footage of her rescue dog Lily dragging a bakery's flag down the main street of Kawakawa went viral around the globe.

CCTV footage of the freedom-seeking furball's runner — accompanied by Yakety Sax, the song made famous by the Benny Hill Show — has been viewed more than 500,000 times since it was posted to Facebook last night.

Lucie Green, a volunteer with Bay of Islands Animal Rescue, was taking the basset hound for a walk last week when she decided to stop at a local business to buy Lily a treat.

But the Basset Hound received a fright and bolted despite being tied to a large Coca-Cola flag forcing Lucie to give chase.

"For an animal with just little legs, my god she can run," Lucie told Seven Sharp.

Lily, Lucie and the rogue flag brought Kawakawa's State Highway 1 strip to a standstill, the whole escapade captured on CCTV.

"My partner owns a local CCTV company I got to the office and I told him what had happened.

"He didn't tell me he'd done it, but he edited footage and put the music on and uploaded it to Facebook and tagged me in it.

"I knew it was trouble when basically by the time we'd gone to bed last night it had hit 100,000 views," Lucie said.

The basset hound, named Lily, was tied to a large flag outside a dairy. So she took the flag with her on her wild escape. Source: Facebook/James Mcdonald

Thousands of people have since commented on the video, with many of them admiring the dog’s spirit.

"I'm laughing my guts out it's so funny," wrote Facebook user Annie Hicks.

Lucie does see the funny side of events however.

"They say every dog has their day, so I guess Lily is enjoying her 15 mins of fame." 

Lily made a run for it when owner Lucie Green stopped at a shop in the Northland town. Source: Seven Sharp


Tracking down New Plymouth youth MP candidates after Andrew Little's 'hip' appeal

Labour MP Andrew Little released a tongue in cheek video encouraging young people from New Plymouth to get involved in politics today.

The video inspired TVNZ1's Seven Sharp to travel to Mr Little's old school to find the perfect candidate for its new youth MP.

Judge for yourself if New Plymouth Boys' High students Thomas Foy and Jarrod Wilson have what it takes in the video above.

Tamati Rimene-Sproat is on the case after the Labour MP's piece of political theatre. Source: Seven Sharp

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Watch: Take a tour inside Kate Sheppard’s former house where suffragists worked to get women the right to vote

Suffragist Kate Sheppard's old house in Christchurch goes up for auction next month - so Seven Sharp host Hilary Barry took a tour.

Ms Sheppard was instrumental in gaining New Zealand women the right to vote in 1893. She carried out important work for the suffrage movement in the house during the late 19th Century.

Today saw celebrations around the country marking 125 years since women gained the right to vote in New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern has indicated the Government is interested in buying the house for the nation. It's expected to fetch in excess of $3 million when it goes under the hammer on October 17.

Hilary Barry met with the home's current owner Julia Burbury who showed her around the dwelling set on one acre of gardens.

The house has a category one heritage listing.

The piece of New Zealand history in Christchurch, worth more than $3 million, is up for auction. Source: Seven Sharp


Mum distraught as son turned away from Hutt Valley High School because he didn't have permanent address

Being homeless has become an obstacle for one mother wanting to give her child an education.

Helen Taitapanui and her son were turned away from Hutt Valley High School last week because they don't have a permanent residential address.

Ms Taitapanui, is currently battling cancer and lives in a motel with her teenage son while they wait for a permanent home.

"We've got to be glad that we've got that when we know that a lot of our families are out there living in cars," Ms Taitapanui told 1 NEWS.

However, this was a problem when she tried to enrol her son at a local school.

"The response was it's against their policy to register children living out of a motel. you had to have a residential address," Ms Taitapanui said.

She complained to the Ministry of Education and shortly after Hutt Valley High School reversed its decision.

Ms Taitapanui says her son's excited about going back to school.

"I know once he steps back into the realm of education he'll be well and truly away."

She hopes by speaking out, another unnecessary obstacle will be removed for the homeless.

Being homeless threw up an unexpected obstacle for a mum wanting to educate her child. Source: 1 NEWS