Why Section 97 is so evil


The Young Nats have a remit up at the Northern Region conference calling for the repeal of Section 97 of the Employment Relations Act, 2000.

This Act was bought by the unions who funded the 1999 campaign for Labour, and their money bought them Section 97. Section 97 removed the right for employers to replace striking workers with temporary labour, giving massive power to unions, especially over some of New Zealand’s biggest primary production industries.

How it works is meat or dairy processes have massive amounts of raw product coming during the peak of the milk or killing season. The unions know this, and know that a strike at peak times will cost businesses millions. So they wait until the worst possible moment for the business and call a strike with an extortionate demand. 

The processing companies have little choice but to be extorted or they will lose millions as milk has to be tipped out or animals get sent to different plants.

This means that employers try to solve industrial disputes well out of season, and are forced to lock workers out so the unions cannot extort them later in the year.

My old mate, former Young Nat and current Minister of Labour Simon Bridges should arrange for Section 97 to be repealed.

It is an appalling piece of legislation bought by the funders of Helen Clark’s government.


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  • Fred

    This will be a very interesting test for Simon Bridges and the National Party – what exactly do they stand for, will they follow through on promises made in opposition or are they just political pawns only interested in their own popularity? They certainly are in regard in Part 6A, all Brylcreem and no socks!

  • thor42

    Agreed. It’s a sop to the unions, nothing more.

  • blokeintakapuna

    The vast majority of Employment Law has been slanted by previous Labour governments as a sop to their funders / bully-boy/other side of the coin – the unions.
    Why is the starting point of employment law that an “employee” has lifelong employment and more “rights” than employer in the employers private business/home?

  • cows4me

    Leave s97 and introduce s98 . Any union considering strike action in the peak periods must give six weeks notice, failure to do so and a strike results there will be a loss of bonuses and holiday pay for days lost.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Nothing will come out of this and the unions will rule. Focus on real issues Young bros.

  • Whafe

    I to believe this will be a big chance for National to know if in fact they do have the nuts to get this sorted and eliminate section 97…
    For a country where by the economic backbone is primary production, section 97 is far worse than evil.
    It is the spawn of the devils anus!

  • Jonathan Pull

    The law is shit but to bleat on about the purchase of legislation is one eyed bullshit. You only need to look as far as the sky city deal to see national selling legislation or laws for the right price.

    • Hazards001

      As opposed to the way Labour sold the countries wealth with bribes to ensure re election?
      At least the sky city deal benefits rate and tax payers!

      • Jonathan Pull

        They’re both equally shit deals.
        Yes labours was a deliberate vote buy but nationals is no better.
        NO government should ever sell any form of legislation.
        Sad thing is they’ve all done it and given the chance they’ll all do it again.

        • Muffin

          I don’t see anything shit about the convention centre deal, and I think you are an idiot.