Facing the likelihood of a Labour/Greens electorate deal against him in Ohariu at the next election, United Future leader Peter Dunne has taken to living dangerously.
Yesterday morning he climbed into key National allies, the Auckland Employers and Manufacturers’ Association (EMA) and Business NZ over their objections to the the Minimum Wage (Contractors Remuneration) Amendment Bill.
The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Minimum Wage Act 1983 to extend its provisions to apply to payments under a contract for services that are remunerated at below the minimum wage.
The EMA says the bill interferes with the principle of freedom to contract and would create barriers to businesses’ ability to engage contractors and add indirect compliance costs.
Dunne put out an issue of his “Dunne Speaks” yesterday morning saying: the Bill was “a relatively innocuous Labour Party Bill to give more protection to contract workers in vulnerable situations. The Bill has been making its way through Parliament over recent months, with barely a ripple, but suddenly, the employers have noticed it, and they do not like it, so like the militant unions of old they have pushed the outrage button.”
You could hardly blame the Government and others for thinking this meant Dunne opposed the Bill.
Late yesterday afternoon, Dunne’s office said .he could no longer support The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill “because of ongoing concerns with the Bill as drafted as well as receiving undertakings from the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety to address those concerns.”
Dunne is sucking up to Labour and flip flopping. He’s unreliable and a grandstanding bouffant.
His word isn’t his bond, and for that alone, he will find his future becoming turbulent.
“My decision on this Bill followed constructive discussions with both the Hon David Parker and Hon Michael Woodhouse as well as many members of the public who have contacted me about this Bill,” said Dunne.
“While the intent of this Bill, to provide protection to vulnerable contractors who fall outside the usual bound of the employee/contractor relationship, is sound, in the end I did not consider it to be the appropriate mechanism to provide the necessary protections to vulnerable contractors.”
Dunne says he sought and received an undertaking from the Michael Woodhouse as the responsible Minister to take meaningful steps in addressing the problems that contractors may be facing.
“Minister Woodhouse has confirmed to me today that he has asked the Labour Inspectorate to provide an assessment of the extent of any contractor exploitation that they have investigated or suspect is happening within the workplace,” Dunne said.
Good grief. Dunne and Dunner are on the job. God help us all.
That’s Dunne’s version of what happened.
POLITIK has heard an alternative version which suggests he might have been put under some pressure over how hard National might contest his seat at the next election
That, my dear readers, is what Mr Dunne had earned all by himself. A term of total disloyalty to his coalition Government has precipitated the need for National to take the seat from him.
Dunne has singularly been responsible for more of the government’s legislative failures than anyone else.
If you love politics, and I know you do, Dunne’s seat is one of the must-watch electorates for the next general election. This man has outstayed his usefulness and his welcome.
– Richard Harman, Politik