Commerce Committee

Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

The Committee continued to hear submissions on the Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill.

Southern Fresh Fruit Exports Limited responded the International Container Lines Committee's submission and stated that shipping companies are working together for their own benefit rather than New Zealand exporters, and therefore cannot be trusted to regulate their own behaviour.

Mitre 10 Limited recognised that legislation surrounding hard core cartel behaviour is important but needs to be drafted in a way that does not affect legitimate business activity and that allows businesses to understand their obligations. Mitre 10 supports the submission of the New Zealand Retailers' Association highlighting potential uncertainty for franchise and cooperative related activity. It also submitted that inconsistencies within the collaborative activity exemption need to be resolved and that further guidance on the application of the proposed law is needed.

Transport and Industrial Relations Committee

Minimum Wage (Starting-out Wage) Amendment Bill

The Committee continued to hear submissions on the Minimum Wage (Starting-out Wage) Amendment Bill. The Bill would amend the Minimum Wage Act 1983 to allow starting-out wages of wages (not less than 80% of the minimum adult rate) for eligible young people aged 16 - 19.

The majority of submitters, including Young Labour and The New Zealand Public Service Association, submitted that the Bill is a discriminatory mechanism for exploiting vulnerable youth. The New Zealand Union for Students' Associations submitted the Bill would prevent young workers from a life of dignity. Standup Youth Union labelled the Bill "shameful", and stated that a lack of youth input into these formal processes was largely due to fears of intimidation by Committee members.

The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services submitted the Bill was discriminatory and emphasised the harsh reality of the 90-day clause. It recommended changes to the Bill to reflect a 'shared responsibility scheme' between employers and employees focusing on practical long-term training and development programs.