Pay equity protest at Parliament

Last updated 14:08 30/06/2009

Relevant offers


Paula Bennett's reign as acting Prime Minister ends via text message John Key's time in India was 'short and sweet' but will be chalked up as a success Brendon McCullum called Prime Minister by Indian announcer during John Key visit PM Key tells off Max over 'real men ride women' blurt Motorcades and high level security are the perks of travelling with the PM: Brendon McCullum US Secretary of State tipped for NZ visit Methamphetamine contamination guidelines 'misused' to evict tenants Mental health workers clock up big hours PM Paula Bennett? What the Westie warrior could do while she's in the hot seat New Zealand's as close as it's ever got to a free trade deal with India - John Key

About 200 people braved freezing temperatures outside Parliament today to protest the lack of pay equity.

The protest was sparked by the Government's scrapping of a pay equity investigation and its disbanding of the pay and employment equity unit at the Labour Department. The unit was established to address the pay gap between men and women - a gap which still exists more than 36 years after equal pay legislation was passed.

Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly challenged the Government to tell protesters how they planned to close the pay gap.

''We challenge them to tell us how they are going to work with employers and unions across both public and private sectors to reduce the pay gap,'' she said.

The failure of Women's Affairs Minister Pansy Wong to front to protesters brought cries of ''shame, shame''.

Labour's women's affairs spokeswoman Sue Moroney told those gathered women earned on average 12 percent less than men. Many protesters held placards of $10 notes, with the 10 crossed out and replaced with $8.80 to represent the inequity.

''Today's rally will send a clear message to the Government that they need to take the issue of pay equity seriously and start facing up to this issue rather than trying to brush it under the carpet,'' she said.

''The Government can simply not use the recession as an excuse for failing to act on pay equity.''

Green MP Catherine Delahunty also addressed the protest, as did New Zealand Educational Institute member Lewellyn Sumenko-Bucknell, Angela McLeod of the New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women and University Students' Association co-president Sophia Blair.

A protest was also held in Auckland.

The Public Service Association has complained to the Human Rights Commission, saying that axing the pay equity investigation, aimed at closing a pay gap for Child Youth and Family (CYF) social workers, breached the Human Rights Act and was an act of discrimination against women.


Ad Feedback


Special offers
Opinion poll

Where do you stand on political coat-tail riding?

If it gets marginalised voices into Parliament, I'm for it.

I'm against it - if you don't get the votes, you shouldn't be there.

It's just part of the political game.

Vote Result

Related story: Voters reject riding on the coat-tails

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content