The Labour-led Government’s planned labour market reforms would mean fewer jobs for Kiwi workers, increases in the cost of living and make our businesses less competitive, National Party Workplace Relations Spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“These reforms can only reverse the very positive job market New Zealand has enjoyed over the last few years,” Ms Adam says.

“Changes like the end of the starting out wage, the effective removal of 90 day trials for businesses with more than 20 staff, consecutive unsustainable leaps in the minimum wage, reduced flexibility, and 70s style standardised wages bargaining will all increase risks and costs for small and medium-sized businesses.

“Already we are seeing businesses across the country lose confidence and saying they are planning on hiring fewer people. Fear of these reforms are one of the big reasons for that decline in sentiment.

“Many New Zealand businesses compete internationally. There is every chance these changes will simply shift Kiwi jobs offshore.”

Ms Adams says that New Zealand has an enviable track record over the last few years of lifting employment and growing wages.

“Under National, 245,000 jobs were created in the last two years. Wages are growing at twice the rate of inflation and we now have the third highest employment rate in the OECD.

“All the evidence is that our current employment settings are some of the best and most successful in the world. Labour needs to explain why bringing in reforms that have strangled growth in other economies is a good idea.”

Ms Adams says National is today launching a campaign, “protect NZ jobs”, to explain the proposals and enlist small and medium sized businesses to fight the reforms.

“Labour must understand that forcing extra costs on small and medium sized businesses is not ‘working with them’. And you don’t improve things for New Zealand workers by increasing the cost of goods made in New Zealand.”

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