Women’s Affairs Minister ripping off women

Today in the Parliament, Sue Moroney asked Minister of Women’s Affairs Jo Goodhew whether she had received a briefing on the equal pay case being heard in Court this week. Jo’s response was to paraphrase:  No. Equal pay is not in my brief.

According to the Ministry’s website, “The Ministry’s key priorities are: Greater economic independence – increasing women’s lifetime earnings and gaining a better return on the investment in their skills.”

This is also the Ministry that hosts National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) :

As set out in its Terms of Reference NACEW’s role is to:

“…advise the Minister of Women’s Affairs on matters referred by him/her concerning the employment of women;
express views and make recommendations as appropriate to the Minister of Women’s Affairs on matters relating to the employment of women”

NACEW to quote their website: “was heavily involved in advocating for equal pay legislation in the early ‘70s. It recommended to the Minister at the time that he set up an independent Commission of Inquiry on how best to implement equal pay and the Council’s recommendations were reflected in the Terms of Reference.

Following this, the Equal Pay Act 1972 provided for the phasing in of equal pay over five years. It aimed to remove discrimination based on employees’ gender and extended legislation to the private sector which had previously applied only to the public sector. The Council was also involved in ensuring that research into how the legislation worked practically was carried out.”

So the first equal pay case in front of our courts in decades. A absolutely defining case to decide on whether our legislation is capable of moving us towards pay equity, and the Minister does not seek a briefing from the group with Government with the most knowledge on the topic. WTF?!?

Last year the Human Rights Commission slammed the Ministry of Women’s Affairs for their pale ambition for New Zealand women which is effectively ripping off New Zealand women. Clearly, if the Minister isn’t even interested in a briefing on the first major equal pay case before our courts in decades, then nothing has changed.

This is absolutely shameful. Jo Goodhew does not deserve this warrant if this is the extent of her interest in our collective wellbeing.

6 Comments Posted

  1. I’d say this government would get rid of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs if it thought it could get away with it. They won’t attack it because it doesn’t represent an impediment to their version of “economic development” as has happened with DoC but they will just let it waste away from lack of any support for as long as they are in power.

  2. “It is time this matter was made public.”

    Better might be in a year or so. After all, 50% or so of voters are women.


  3. I am an old woman and I have seen women encouraged to go back to work, or forced there because of high mortgages, but if the above statement about the Minister is correct, she should be booted out of office. So many women do splendid work caring for the sick and elderly and infirm, they are paid a pittance for this. It is time we had a government which treated women as equals and made sure their earning were fair. After all those women who clean or are helpers often do two jobs and are taxed at secondary rate for their second job, yet their total take home pay is less than that of any man. It is time this matter was made public.

  4. I would imagine that ‘gaining a better return on the investment in their skills’ is some weasel words to encompass but not necessarily mean ‘improve equality’

  5. I would imagine that ‘gaining a better return on the investment in their skills’ is some weasel words to encompass but not necessarily mean ‘improve equality’

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