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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard

Hon NICKY WAGNER (National): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I’ll only take a short call because my message is short and to the point. National supports this bill. Of course we support this bill, because it’s the next step towards achieving pay equity in New Zealand and towards closing the gender pay gap. Of course we support this bill, because National’s pay equity equivalent bill was already in this House back in 2017.

We are angry that it’s taken so long to get any pay equity bill to its second reading. National and the pay equity advisory committee did this work nearly four years ago. In 2017, National’s bill had already passed the first reading and was in select committee. The new Labour coalition Government dumped it. In 2018, we gave the Government another chance to get legislation done when Denise Lee’s pay equity member’s bill was introduced to the House, and they voted it down. Finally, now, in 2020, very close to the end of their term in Government, in urgency, at last, you’ve finally got round to the second reading.

It is gross incompetence on the part of this Government that it has taken so long to get progress on a bill that is so important to women, and we are still not there. Women in New Zealand are still waiting for pay equity legislation to come into law, when it should have been in place back in 2017 or 2018. This Government talks a lot; it talks a lot about supporting women. This Government talks a lot; it talks a lot about being kind. This Government should be ashamed of itself that this pay equity legislation has taken so long to come. Thank you, Madam Speaker.