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Women in New Zealand will have to wait even longer before progress is made on pay equity because this incompetent Government can’t follow due process, MP for Maungakiekie Denise Lee says.

“The Government’s Equal Pay Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament in September 2018. But since it was reported back from Select Committee in May it has been left languishing on the Order Paper.

“That’s because Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway hasn’t ironed out all the policy details yet, despite allowing the Bill to be introduced. Information released by the Minister’s office showed he was still receiving briefings on policy issues with the Bill regularly throughout the year, even into late October.

“Usually the only changes made to a Bill after introduction come from Select Committee, not from the Minister. This is an extraordinary example of incompetence.

“The Government has been playing politics with a very important Bill. It scrapped the previous National Government’s Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill and voted against my Members’ Bill in April 2018. It then cynically released its own Bill on Suffrage Day, despite that Bill clearly not being up to scratch.

“The Government claimed it voted down my Bill because it was going to bring an improved version to the table. In reality it’s a 90 per cent copy and paste of our work, and now we’ll be lucky if the Government does anything at all.

“As usual, the PR spin from the Government hasn’t translated to any real outcomes. It’s very disappointing considering the amount of work done on the Bill by the previous National Government, and the fact there is cross party support for the Government’s Bill.

“How long are women going to have to wait for pay equity? The Government needs to get on with it. It’s already broken its promise to pass the Bill by the end of the year, the least it can do is give New Zealand women a timeline of when it expects any progress to be made.”

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