More Kiwis approaching retirement with money trouble

Sylvie O'Donnell says it has become harder to find well-paying work as she has got older.

Sylvie O’Donnell says it has become harder to find well-paying work as she has got older.

Sylvie O’Donnell is turning 65 next year but don’t assume she is looking forward to a carefree retirement.

The Wellington woman says as she has got older, the work opportunities have fallen away. She is now stuck contracting, in a position that is below her skill level, with no security. She has applied for more stable work but has been passed over in favour of younger applicants.

She cashed up her superannuation fund 20 years ago to pay off some of the mortgage on her house. But she then had to sell the house 10 years ago to pay off debt. She now rents, paying $290 a week.

A redundancy over 50 can severely derail retirement plans.

A redundancy over 50 can severely derail retirement plans.

 When she qualifies for the pension, $780 a fortnight after tax, there will be little left over to pay for anything else.

Older New Zealanders battling bigger mortgages
Mortgage at age 55? No way

“The prospects are grim for many women,” she said.  “We are the people who have worked all our lives, supported families and we are the ones who have ended up being forgotten.”

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell says financial strife is a source of distress for a significant number of older people.

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell says financial strife is a source of distress for a significant number of older people. 

She said she had not got into debt by living beyond her means. She had raised four children alone.

“Everything was fine until my job was disestablished. I had a high mortgage which was a millstone around my neck and certainly would not have been paid off before I was 65, so I faced the option of selling it while I was in my 50s and quit all debt or face the prospect of selling it when I retired because I would not have an income to sustain the mortgage payments…Our fortunes can change so quickly so it is just another cross we have to bear.”

She said, with so much financial strain, there was nothing to look forward to.

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell said O’Donnell was not alone in suffering financial hardship in later life.

“Many New Zealanders reach their 50s in good shape financially, particularly if they are homeowners and have managed to pay down all or most of their mortgage. Children may have left home, household expenses have come down and they may be at their peak earnings after 30 years working,” she said.

“However, we know that for others that is not the picture. A job loss or ill health, a period of unemployment where they may have burned through their savings, can leave people in a precarious position.”

She said the Commission for Financial Capability’s research showed that 18 per cent of people aged over 55 struggled to make ends meet.

“What people tell us is that being in financial strife in their 50s affects their mental health and wellbeing, particularly if they are surrounded by peers who are mortgage-free and enjoying life. They feel they don’t have time to ‘fix’ things, and that they face discrimination in the hunt for jobs. This can be accentuated if the skills they have honed over years of work are no longer in demand as jobs are changed by automation.”

Financial adviser Shula Newland said many of the people she saw in that position had recently been made redundant and did not have a plan. Some were still paying off consumer debt, she said.

“Sometimes they can be living quite a good lifestyle but if you look at the bigger picture, they don’t have any assets, they don’t own a house, things like that.”

Another adviser, Liz Koh, said relationship breakdowns were a significant cause of financial distress for people over 50.

“People that for whatever reason lack resilience, that means they can’t take the hits, they get off track and they don’t have the strength or resilience to get back on. That could be because of the sudden death of a partner or ill health or the loss of a job. They don’t have the resilience to get back on their feet and have another crack.”

She said it was becoming more common to see older people with financial problems.

“They are still a minority of the population but a growing minority and that’s what concerns me.”

She said the Baby Boomers approaching retirement now had had more upheavals through their lives, and less job and relationship stability, than their parents. “Restructuring and redundancies are all our generation.”

Many had found a way to cope day-to-day but would hit retirement and realise they did not have enough savings to last the next 30 years. “That’s where the rubber hits the road and they are called to account, facing 30 years of poverty.”

Newland said many people did not realise how much money they needed to save to give themselves a comfortable retirement.

But she said, conversely, some people thought they were in a worse position than they really were.

Some information that was circulated about how much money people needed to retire on were misleading.

Some calculators, such as Kiwi Wealth’s Future You, assumed that people would have to pay rent, she said, while, in reality, many would be mortgage-free by the time they retired.

Others assumed that people wanted to leave their savings intact, and only live off the earnings.

“That would mean you would need $1 million saved.”

Koh and Newland said it was not too late for people to make changes but it was significantly harder to get back on track at 50 than it was at 30.

Koh said there should be more support, in the form of affordable housing or low-cost finance.

* This is the first in a Stuff Business series looking at the problem of debt and financial stress in people over 50.

Comments have been closed. 

 – Stuff

Posted in Finance, Women's issues | Leave a comment

Nowhere for Labour to hide on TPPA in election year

16 May 2017

As Prime Minister Bill English heads off to Japan with trade minister Todd McClay in their quest to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) minus the USA, ‘the silence from Labour is deafening’, Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey observes. ‘In an election year, they had hoped the TPPA was dead and buried. Now there is nowhere for them to hide.’

Earlier this week Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten confirmed in his budget reply speech that his party will not back the Coalition Government’s efforts to revive the TPP without the United States.

The New Zealand Greens and New Zealand First have also both rejected the government’s move.

Labour voted against ratification of the TPPA in the Parliament, saying the economic case did not stack up. Now, the prize of access to US markets that National used to justify the trade-offs for the right to regulate on many other issues has gone. Minister McClay has admitted the government has no analysis to back their pursuit of the deal without the US.

According to Professor Kelsey, the latest reports from Japan say a statement has been drafted that commits the remaining trade ministers to implement the TPPA by the end of this year. New provisions for entry into force and for original signatories to become parties are designed to expedite the US return to the fold. Trade ministers from the eleven countries will be asked to adopt the joint statement when they meet for APEC in Hanoi on 21 May, and finish the process in time for the leaders’ meeting at APEC in November.

‘Unbelievably’, she says, ‘they plan to retain the existing text, with all the toxic rules the US insisted on that undermine affordable medicines, grant foreign investors special rights to enforce offshore, prohibit requirements for data to be held onshore, and more.’

‘But why would the US want to re-join if its corporations have already got the benefits of the rules without paying anything for them?’

Minister McClay has conceded that this would be a new agreement to be put before the House, but that only means another process of impotent submissions and staged debate. The legislation has already been passed. Nothing seems likely to happen before the election, meaning Labour will have to deal with it as government or as opposition.

Professor Kelsey called on Labour to take a position now, so voters know where it stands – and, as with Australia, so the National government knows that it cannot claim any bipartisan support for its ideologically-driven attempt to keep the deeply unpopular agreement alive.



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Countdown latest to back Green’s domestic violence bill

Countdown backs Green Party's domestic violence bill

Countdown backs Green Party’s domestic violence bill

Supermarket chain Countdown is the latest to make a submission to select committee to back Green Party MP Jan Logie’s proposed domestic violence victim protection bill.

National backed the bill in March taking it through to the select committee who will be hearing submissions until early July, Logie said.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said the bill is worth discussing but needed work.

Domestic violence cases reported every 5 minutes in New Zealand.

Domestic violence cases reported every 5 minutes in New Zealand.

The Green MP calls it is an “ambitious draft bill by an opposition member” and said it is too soon to tell the outcome of the bill.

Taking a stand against family violence
Women’s Refuge and The Warehouse team up to help victims of domestic violence
Call for more employers to consider needs of workers affected by family violence
U-turn sees Govt support first stage Green Party bill for additional leave for domestic violence victims

The bill aims to standardise the support some employers are already implementing for their staff by providing 10 days of paid leave to those affected by domestic violence to move house, attend court hearings and consult lawyers.

Green Party MP Jan Logie is hopeful her bill will amount to legislation but says it's too early to tell.
Logie said Countdown’s recent support has been encouraging and that she is “quietly confident” National and Labour will support the bill as the select committee continues to hear the submissions.

Foodstuffs has also made a submission, but the big name to have been one of the first to provide staff with 10 days extra paid leave The Warehouse isn’t lobbying for legislation.

The Warehouse chief executive Pejman Okhovat said although the retailer is not supporting Logie’s bill, it continues to actively lobbing for change among employers by holding panel discussions and sharing resources on supporting staff with other companies. It will be holding another panel discussion later this month.

“We didn’t wait for any changes to happen around us, this was a complete start by ourselves and hopefully we can encourage other businesses to take the next step too,” Okhovat said.

“You may have a legislation that doesn’t work if you haven’t already provided a supportive, safe environment to allow people to come forward with their issues. If legislation comes that’s great too,” he said.

Logie said having some employers implementing this isn’t enough and that legislation would ensure consistency and provide a standard for all employees.

“There have been concerns raised, but I am confident that the need to address domestic violence in this country will trump these concerns,” Logie said.

A case involving domestic violence is reported every five minutes in New Zealand.

While the Foodstuffs does not have a set amount of extra day paid leave available for all employees, spokesperson for the company Antoinette Laird said it supports employees on a case by case basis.

Countdown on the other hand has been providing full time staff up to 10 days of paid leave and five days for part time employees.

Countdown general manager James Walker said the company is in support of the bill as it exposes the greater issue and encourages victims to continue their employment and have financial independence.

Despite The Warehouse lacking political stance on the matter, Okhovat agrees providing resources for other company’s to take action and starting the conversation is the most important goal to address New Zealand’s “horrific” statistics of domestic violence.

Whether backing the bill or not, all three agree that businesses bear the cost of domestic violence and proactive action prevents lack of productivity because the biggest win is retaining talent.

 – Stuff

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Nurse’s personal plea for domestic violence leave law change

2 Jun, 2017 5:00am

Ann Simmons, who is advocating for a law change to provide domestic violence leave. New Zealand Herald photo Nicholas Jones.

Ann Simmons, who is advocating for a law change to provide domestic violence leave. New Zealand Herald photo Nicholas Jones.

 A nurse has spoken about losing her job after suffering violence and rape at the hands of her partner – urging Parliament to back domestic violence leave.

MPs on the justice and electoral committee thanked Ann Simmons for her bravery after listening in silence to her story.

The committee is working through dozens of submissions on legislation that would allow victims of abuse to get up to 10 extra days’ leave a year and would classify family violence as a workplace hazard.

Simmons, family violence prevention coordinator at Capital & Coast DHB and a registered midwife, appeared on behalf of the NZ Nurses Organisation, a union representing 48,000 nurses and strongly supportive of the change.

She recalled the experience of a woman with two young children, who came home from an afternoon shift as a nurse an hour later than expected.

“The busy shift was not an excuse her partner would accept. He punched her in the face, in the stomach, threw her across the room and raped her. Soon after he passed out as he was extremely drunk,” Simmons told the committee.

“The nurse rang a friend and within half an hour the friend’s brother arrived. He stood guard while belongings were hurriedly thrown into bags.”

The woman’s partner was arrested and charged, but released once he sobered up and still “incredibly dangerous”, Simmons said.

“She needed to tell her boss she couldn’t go to work. A white, university-graduate woman with two children needed to say, ‘I am the victim of domestic violence, I cannot come to work’. That is so hard to do. She had no annual leave, she had used most of her sick leave due to previous assaults and staying at home to protect her children.

“Her work suggested she resign. If there had been any leave available to her, she may have been able to hold onto her job and not become yet another solo mum on the DPB. This story is me.

“Women need their employers to understand how hard it is to maintain a normal life in the eyes of society when all they know is violence in their home life.”

After the committee, Simmons told the Herald the described events happened around 30 years ago, when she worked for another employer. She hadn’t told them of previous domestic violence incidents, but had revealed the attack just prior to the suggestion she resign.

Simmons said she decided to tell her story to help continue the “slow change” in society’s attitude to domestic violence.

In a reversal of its previous position, National supported the bill in the name of Green MP Jan Logie at its first reading in March. It would have passed without National’s support, because Labour, New Zealand First, the Maori Party and Act had already committed to voting for it.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said the bill “needed work”, and did not commit to supporting it into law. But she said it was an issue worth discussing. Prime Minister Bill English has previously said Government was against the proposal, because employers could already offer the specialised leave.

Countdown, the Warehouse Group, ANZ, Vodafone, the University of Auckland already offer family violence leave to their staff.

Deborah Beegling, general manager of HR for Countdown, which has 18,000 staff, appeared before the committee and revealed one of the reasons the policy was introduced in November last year was the suicide of a staff member who had been assaulted by an ex-husband.

“Her colleagues were quite impacted by that. And what made it very real…was her family asked if they could bring her children in to the workplace where their mum worked. So that was almost devastating to the team that worked with her.”

Countdown developed its policy with input from the Warehouse. The policy had not been used inappropriately in the seven months after implementation.

The only concern has been the low levels of staff using the leave. As a result, managers have had training to spot the signs of domestic abuse, and in how to sensitively raise the topic.

Labour MP Poto Williams asked how Countdown dealt with recording who took the leave, and disclosure requirements. Beegling said nothing was recorded on a system or personal files.

“We encourage our store managers, if they have a conversation, is to make some notes and keep it secret, because we know that could be called upon at a point in time.”

Business NZ does not support the law change, saying appropriate provisions are already in place through changes to working arrangements and sick leave, and businesses hiring more less skilled, lower paid workers could bear disproportionately more costs.

“Sick leave already encompasses…the consequences of domestic violence,” the written submission states. “It is through education and empathy that the greatest good will be found. Neither of these can be legislated for effectively.”

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SSC MEDIA STATEMENT                   

30 May 2017

 New Chief Executives appointed for Ministry for Pacific Peoples and Ministry for Women

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today announced the appointment of two new Public Service Chief Executives.

Laulu Mr Mac Leauanae has been appointed as Chief Executive of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

Ms Renee Graham has been appointed as Chief Executive of the Ministry for Women.

“I am very pleased we have been able to recruit outstanding young leaders for these roles,” Mr Hughes said.

“These are important roles for New Zealand and the Public Service, and the new Chief Executives bring diverse experience and strong leadership skills,” Mr Hughes said.

“I am confident they will be able to engage staff, stakeholders and communities and lead their agencies to help the Public Service deliver improved services and better outcomes for the New Zealanders their agencies serve,” he said.

“Both new chief executives will bring unique perspectives to the team of Public Service chief executives working together to give New Zealanders excellent public services.”

“These are young chief executives, both with significant potential to develop further and achieve even more for New Zealanders and the Public Service during their careers,” he said.

Chief Executive of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples

 Mac Leauanae is currently the Chief Executive of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation. In this role he works closely with New Zealand based Pacific communities, Pacific governments and New Zealand government agencies. The Foundation is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and works throughout the Pacific delivering sustainable economic development initiatives.

“I am very pleased to welcome Mr Leauanae to the Public Service,” said Mr Hughes.

“Mr Leauanae is a very talented young leader who has deep connections and networks with New Zealand’s Pacific communities as well as Pacific Island governments and experience working with New Zealand government agencies,” Mr Hughes said.

Prior to taking up his role with the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, Mr Leauanae held senior management roles in a Pacific based horticultural product business and an Auckland based Primary Healthcare Organisation.

Mr Leauanae is of Samoan descent and holds the Chiefly title of ‘Laulu’.

He has been appointed for a three year term commencing on 3 July 2017.

Chief Executive of the Ministry for Women

 Renee Graham is currently a Policy Director at the Ministry of Education. Ms Graham has a strong background in leading complex strategic policy development in both the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social Development.

As well as her policy expertise, Ms Graham also has experience in operational roles in Work and Income, before moving into project and management positions after starting her career as a frontline case manager.

“Ms Graham is a skilled Public Service senior leader with a track record of successfully leading the development of solutions to complex policy issues,” Mr Hughes said.

“She also has skills and experience in operational roles and working in frontline public services which will give her a practical perspective on the work of the Ministry for Women,” he said.

Ms Graham has been appointed for a three year term commencing on 19 June 2017.

Ms Graham is of Ngâti Toa, Ngâti Raukawa descent.



Laulu Mac Leauanae

Mr Leauanae is currently the Chief Executive of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, a role he has held since March 2014. The Foundation is focused on delivering economic sustainable initiatives in the Pacific region, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade.

Prior to his current role he was the General Manager of Pure Pacifika Limited, a company that exported horticultural products from the South Pacific primarily into Asian markets.

Before this Mr Leauanae worked in the primary healthcare sector for ProCare Health Limited. He was initially the Pacific Health Manager and within a year was promoted into Senior Management roles.

Earlier in his career he worked in Pacific community & business development with a role at the Pacific Business Trust. He started his career practicing as a lawyer.

Mr Leauanae holds an MBA from Henley Management College, UK, with his dissertation focusing on ‘Community Participation in Governance’. He also holds an LLB from Auckland University.

Ms Renee Graham

 Ms Graham is currently a Policy Director for the Ministry of Education, a role she has held since June 2014. In her current role Ms Graham is responsible for developing strategic policy and systems to improve the performance of the education sector.

Ms Graham spent the majority of her career at the Ministry of Social Development. Before joining the Ministry of Education she was the General Manager of Income Support, Employment and Skills Policy and prior to this was the General Manager of Youth and Employment Policy.

Earlier in her career she worked in a variety of operational and operational policy roles. She moved into more strategic policy roles after spending time in the Office of the Minister of Social Development and the Office of the Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Work and Income.

Ms Graham started her career as a Work and Income Case Manager based in the Porirua Office.

She studied at Victoria University of Wellington and holds a Master of Public Policy (awarded with Merit) and a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration.



Photographs of Mr Leauanae and Ms Graham are available.

Please email to receive a copy.

Media contact: Tim Ingleton (04) 495 6648

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Submission on The Care and Support Worker (Pay Equity) Settlement Bill

29th May 2017

Health Select Committee

Parliament Building
Wellington 6140
New Zealand


Re:       Submission on The Care and Support Worker (Pay Equity) Settlement Bill

The submission is from the NZ Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) Inc.

Our Organisation

BPW (Business Professional Women) is an international organization with representatives in over 100 countries. Our organisation’s aims are to link professional and business women throughout the world so that they may provide support to each other, lobby for change and promote the ongoing advancement of women and girls.

We work for equal opportunities and status for all women in economic, civil, and political life and for the removal of discrimination in all countries. We promote our aims and organise our operating structure without distinction as to race, language, or religion.

International Status:

BPW International has General Consultative Status at the United Nations through the UN Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC). This enables BPW International to appoint official representatives to UN agencies worldwide and to accredit members to attend specific UN meetings.

BPW International upholds the outcome documents of the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which evaluates progress, identifies challenges, sets global standards and formulates policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide.

BPW International upholds the outcomes of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which came into force in 1981. In it, Article 11 provides that States:

Shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in particular:

(d) The right to equal remuneration, including benefits, and to equal treatment in respect of work of equal value, as well as equality of treatment in the evaluation of the quality of work

Our international commitments are reinforced by BPW NZ’s promotion and administration of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles: Equality Means Business which holds as one of its principles “treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination.”

  1. Executive Summary

BPW NZ supports this legislation as the natural outcome of the Care and Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlement Agreement (hereafter referred to as “Settlement”). The Settlement and this draft Bill are important steps in recognising the proven disadvantage women have in the workforce in regards to pay[1].

Our federation is pleased that the Settlement is being enshrined in an act of Parliament. This gives the Settlement status and makes clear the Government’s obligation to fund fully the Settlement, as well as employers’ obligations to pass on the full Settlement to workers.

We also support the mechanism to keep pay rates up with the Labour Cost Index; the recognition of qualifications; the requirement for employers to support workers to acquire relevant qualifications; and the inclusion of penal rates.

We have several recommendations that we believe will help the Bill better reflect the intent and language of the Settlement.

In our submission below, we discuss our work for gender pay equality, New Zealand’s commitments to pay quality, BPW’s experience with equal pay/pay equality, and explain our recommendations in further detail.

  1. BPW NZ and the Gender Pay Gap

For the past sixty years, BPW NZ has supported and at times provided leadership to the gender pay gap movement. BPW NZ is committed to representing the interests of working women and advancing and empowering women in the workplace.

Examples of our work are:

  • 2.1   1959, the National Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity was set up by the                    Public Service, trade unions, the Federation of University Women (NZFUW), the            National Council of Women (NCW) and the New Zealand Federation of Business             & Professional Women (BPW NZ), to work for equal pay for work of equal value,             and equal opportunity in employment.
  • 2.2   1960, representatives of BPW NZ worked on the Council, lobbying, discussing                 and making submissions to the Minister of Labour on behalf of working women.             This was instrumental in persuading the Government of the day to pass the                       Government Services Equal Pay Act, which provided for most women working in             government positions to receive the same pay as their male counterparts.
  • 2.3  1969, BPW NZ prepared and presented submissions to the Commission of      …….Enquiry into Equal Pay.
  • 2.4  1972, BPW NZ worked towards the establishment of the Equal Pay Act for equity            of pay in the private sector.
  • 2.5  1989, BPW NZ adopted a policy that urged the Prime Minister, the Minister of                Labour and the Minister of Women’s Affairs to enact legislation before the end of            that year, embodying the principles of equal opportunity in appointment, training          and promotion, and pay equity in the workforce. Further, that measures be taken            to ensure that the necessary resources be available and mechanisms in place, to              implement the provision of the Act immediately upon legislation being passed.               (Policy 14.4.5.)
  • 2.6  1992, BPW NZ adopted a policy that requested the Ministers of Women’s Affairs,          Labour and Employment to undertake a study of how equal pay is being retained            within the public and private sectors, given that employment contracts are now                required. (Policy 14.4.2.)
  • 2.7  2000, BPW NZ adopted a policy which recognised that the gender pay gap is                    continuing to widen, to the disadvantage of women. (Policy 14.4.4.)
  • 2.8  2012, BPW NZ with UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand launched the Women’s              Empowerment Principles: Equality Means Business.
  • 2.9  2012, BPW International announced its collaboration as a Gender Expert with                the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) to bring the voice of women of          business as an expert resource on gender diversity.

In addition, BPW has policy specifically for Aged Care Worker’s pay:

  • 2.10  2015, urging the Minister of Health to increase funding to Aged Care Providers             to provide pay equity for all aged care workers and to change the funding model               to ensure any funding increases to include ring fencing for pay increases and                     accountability.
  1. National Gender Pay Gap Commitments

Historically, the New Zealand government has been working to address the gender pay gap for over fifty years. We believe any legislation should strive to meet these commitments:

  • 3.1  Initial legislation introduced to address the gender pay gap was the Government          Service Equal Pay Act (1960), which was intended to ensure “women were to            be paid the same as men for doing the same work under the same conditions”.                  Further legislation that addressed the gender pay gap includes the Equal Pay Act        (1972), the Human Rights Act (1993), the Employment Relations Act              (2000), the State Sector Act (1988), and the Crown Entities Act (2004).        The broad intent of all of this legislation was to “reduce the gender pay gap”.[2]
  • 3.2  In 1967, the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW)             was established and its Committee of Inquiry into the Implementation of          Equal Pay in New Zealand provided recommendations which led to the Equal Pay         Act. The Committee noted that the narrow distribution of women’s work across               occupations contributed to the gender pay gap by enforcing societal views about t           the value of women’s labour.
  • 3.3  In 2016, the Human Rights Commission issued the Tracking Equality at Work               Key findings showed:

Pay differences exist in both the broader labour market and the public service. Men are paid more than women, European New Zealanders are paid more than other ethnic groups, and disabled people have lower incomes than non-disabled people.

  1. International Gender Pay Gap Commitments

BPW NZ presents that the New Zealand government has adopted a number of international gender pay gap initiatives:

  • 4.1  The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention concerning              Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers of Equal Value                  (ILO 100) was ratified by MBIE in 2015. ILO 100 requires equal remuneration to          be paid to men and women workers for work of equal value without discrimination        based on sex and notes that differential wage rates that correspond to differences in        job content are not contrary to the principle of equal remuneration.
  • 4.2  BPW International upholds the outcomes of the Convention on the                              Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).          The New Zealand government signed CEDAW in 1980 and ratified the Convention          in 1985. Article 11 (d) of the Convention, states that parties shall ensure, on a basis          of equality of men and women, the same rights, in particular “The right to equal              remuneration, including benefits”
  • 4.3  The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights               was signed by New Zealand in 1968 and ratified in 1978. Article 7 recognises the             right of everyone to “fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value               without distinction of any kind, in particular women being guaranteed conditions           of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men, with equal pay for equal work”.
  • 4.4  Ratified by New Zealand in 1948, Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of                Human Rights states that “All are equal before the law and are entitled without            any discrimination to equal protection of the law.” Article 23 states that “(2)                      Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.”

The above commitments are significant and our government is responsible for upholding them.

  1. Recommendations

We would like to acknowledge and support the work of the New Zealand Public Service Association and Pay Equity Coalition Auckland (of which BPW NZ is a member) in the preparation of these recommendations.

5.1  Clause 4 definition of care and support services: this has excluded the term  “home like setting” which is provided in the Settlement Part 17, Services, (a) (i)  and (ii).

Recommendation: that “home like setting” be inserted into the Bill, Clause 4 (a), after “person’s home”.

Rationale: this is to ensure that the Bill aligns with the Settlement.

5.2  Clause 4 definition of employer: paragraph (b) states that the definition does not include “a natural person who receives funding directly from the Ministry of Health, ACC, or a DHB towards the cost of care and support services for the person or a family member”.

Recommendation: that (b) be revised to read “does not include behavioural support services, caregiver support, child development services, environmental support, funded family care”

Rationale: the Settlement did not intend for “family care” to refer to individuals receiving funding to provide care for family members.

BPW believes it is unfair to discriminate against those carers, who are doing the same job, in similar settings.

5.3       Clause 11 how employers provide training: states that “An employer must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a care and support worker is able to attain [qualifications]”

Recommendation: insert a new clause 11(c) that states:

In this section, reasonable steps include, but is not limited to:

(a) paying the fees of training course; and
(b) providing paid study leave or training leave where required; and
(c) providing adequate access to supervisors and assessors.

5.4       Clause 18 funding arrangements:

BPW NZ PECA submits that employers must be fully funded so that they can pay care and support workers in accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement. There would be no benefit to these undervalued workers if other terms and conditions were reduced – for example, cutting hours of work.

Recommendation: that the word “towards” should be deleted from clause 18(1).

Rationale: this is to ensure that employers are fully funded and the achievement of pay equity and recognition of qualifications gained, is not subsidised by the reduction of other terms and conditions of employment, including hours of work, resulting in cuts to service delivery to people in need of care and support.

Our federation has concerns that funding increases are ring-fenced to ensure that there is accountability for the funding.

5.5       We would also like to acknowledge and support the work of CEVEP (coalition for equal value equal pay) (of which BPW NZ is a member) in the preparation of there recommendations.

  1. Concluding summary

BPW NZ is hopeful that this Settlement and this act will serve as a model for future pay equity claims. The same gender discrimination and low wages suffered by care and support workers is the lot of tens of thousands of other women in Aotearoa.  Those women are disproportionately Māori, Pasifika, immigrant and disabled women.  We look forward to pay equity through many other occupational areas and the rewriting of the Exposure Draft of the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill.

BPW NZ supports this legislation but urges the Committee to consider our recommendations in order to ensure the intent of the Settlement and the rights of all carers is preserved.

We wish to end this submission by acknowledging the important and often challenging work of carers throughout New Zealand and the dedication to service that their role requires.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to our submission and we hope that our comments are of use to you.

On behalf, of

New Zealand Federation of Business and professional Women Inc.

  Contact detail:-

Hellen Swales 027 528 6799



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Bullying, harassment a problem for a third of Kiwi workforce – survey

  • 5 hours ago

More than a third of respondents identified bullying and harassment as a significant workplace issue, the latest NZ Diversity Survey shows.

The figure of 36 percent in the April survey was up from 26 percent last October.

Diversity Works NZ chief executive Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie says conflict in the workplace is inevitable and it can help promote new ideas and innovation.

“However, it can escalate into bullying, harassment or violence, which has serious impacts on individuals and organisations,” she said.

Ms Cassidy-Mackenzie was speaking ahead of the 10th anniversary on Friday of Pink Shirt Day, an anti-bullying event launched in Canada.

She said New Zealand organisations were becoming more aware of the business benefits of creating an inclusive culture.

However, allowing bullying and harassment to continue unchecked would undermine their efforts in this area.

Just under 30 percent of people surveyed reported that there had been recorded incidents of bullying and harassment in their workplace in the previous 12 months.

Reporting was more frequent in public-sector organisations (37 percent) than in the private sector (23 percent).

Large organisations were more likely to have recorded incidents (45 percent) than medium-size (38 percent) or small organisations (9 percent).


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Submission on the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill

24th May 2017

Justice and Electoral Committee

Parliament Building
Wellington 6140
New Zealand


Re:          Submission on the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill

This submission is from the NZ Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) Inc.

Our Organisation

The International Federation of Business and Professional Women is a global organisation with representatives in over 100 countries, including New Zealand. Our organisation’s aims are to link professional and business women throughout the world so that they may provide support to each other, lobby for change and to promote the ongoing advancement of women and girls. We work for equal opportunities and status for all women in economic, civil and political life and the removal of discrimination in all countries. We promote our aims and organise our operating structure without distinction as to race, languag

International Status:

BPW International has General Consultative Status at the United Nations through the UN Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC). This enables BPW International to appoint official representatives to UN agencies worldwide and to accredit members to attend specific UN meetings.

BPW International upholds the outcomes of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Committee at state party level. BPW International upholds the outcome documents of the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which evaluates progress, identifies challenges, sets global standards and formulates policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide.

BPW International also upholds the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1993 and affirms that under “violence against women constitutes a violation of the rights and fundamental freedoms of women and impairs or nullifies their enjoyment of those rights and freedoms “[i][1]. In particular, we refer to Article 4:

“States should pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating violence against women”

  1. Executive Summary

BPW NZ supports this Bill as an important step in addressing the strengthening of legislation to prevent the widespread and serious problem of family and whānau violence. We congratulate the Ministry of Justice on this important work.

BPW NZ recognises that this issue particularly affects women, children, Māori, the disabled and elderly:

  • In the four years from 2009 to 2012, an average of 13 women, 10 men, and 9 children were killed each year because of family violence;
  • 1 in 3 women will suffer at the hands of their intimate partner at least once in their lifetime;
  • 76 per cent of recorded assaults against females are committed by an offender that is identified as family.[2]
  • A review of family violence legislation found “some population groups are at an increased risk of family violence, including women, children, disabled people, older people and Māori.”[3]

While supporting this legislation, BPW NZ recommends the following amendments:

  • tougher consequences for breaches of police safety orders,
  • reference to disabled women and girls through the adoption of the recommendations made in New Zealand’s 6th periodic review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights regarding violence against disabled people,
  • and adoption of the recommendations from the Privacy Commissioner’s recent Inquiry into The Ministry Of Social Development’s Collection Of Individual Client-level Data From NGOs.
  • By consulting with the community to ensure that the language used is more encompassing – Domestic Violence rather than Family violence as this is not a true reflection of what is happening in the community.

In addition, BPW NZ believes it is important that there is specific and considerable outreach with Māori in the development of this Bill, that their practices and beliefs are incorporated within the language of this Bill, and also included in the implementation of this Bill should it come into law.

Our submission below will support the above recommendations by considering the following factors:

  • BPW NZ has policy that speaks to the above issues,
  • findings from inquiries commissioned by the New Zealand government or produced by our NGOs, and
  • our international treaty commitments.
  1. Domestic Family Violence Commitments

The Domestic Protection Act (1982) was the first law that specifically addressed domestic violence. This was enhanced by the Domestic Violence Act (1995).

In 2002, the Te Rito: New Zealand Family Violence Prevention Strategy was developed by the Family Violence Focus Group.

This led to the creation of the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse in 2005, which coordinates and distributes research on domestic violence.

However, a 2007 review found that the implementation of the act, in regard to protection orders, was still inadequate.[4] This led to the Domestic Violence (Enhancing Safety) Act (2009).

However, in 2011 a UN report found New Zealand did not compare well among other OECD countries.[5] This was supported by The Glenn Inquiry and their report The People’s Blueprint, released in 2014:[6]

“For a developed country, free from internal strife and blessed with stable democracy, New Zealand’s family violence rates are inexcusably high.”

The People’s Blueprint was supported by The Human Rights Commission: “Many of the recommendations such as a whole system approach, a national strategy, collection of accurate data and evaluation of programmes, capacity building and training of the workforce are what the government agreed to when it was examined by the Human Rights Council earlier this year,” Dr Blue said.[7]

Further, in 2016 Human Rights Commission report (New Zealand’s 6th periodic review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) included findings such as:

  • New Zealand has the fifth worst child abuse record of 31 OECD countries. The most serious violence against children is family violence.
  • Māori and disabled people are more likely to be victims of physical and sexual violence, and have less access to physical and psychological and judicial interventions.
  • A recent study focusing on violence against disabled people highlighted the hidden nature of much abuse directed against disabled people living in care situations akin to a family relationship within the community. In addition to the physical, emotional and sexual violence experienced by non-disabled people, “locked in” and “silencing” violence is often specifically directed at disabled people.[8]

Included in the recommendations of the report:

The Commission recommends that the Committee urges the Government to:

  • consider whether the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and other legislations provides sufficient protection for disabled people in community care situations and if it doesn’t commit to amending it so as to apply; and
  • commit to tracking violence/domestic violence against people with disabilities and educate the public as to the disability/violence nexus.
  1. BPW NZ on Domestic Violence

For the past twenty-five years, as a national federation, BPW NZ has worked to advocate for victims of family violence. This is an issue that is very personal for a number of our members.

Our BPW Kaitaia club initiated the “I am the One in 4” campaign to raise awareness around sexual abuse and to support victims of abuse.

In addition, over the years we have developed numbers of policies around family violence:

18.5.1. Funding for HAIPP (Hamilton Abuse Intervention Pilot Project) (1993)

18.5.2. Protection Orders (2008)

  • THAT the Government take urgent action to improve the implementation of the legislation relating to protection orders to ensure that such orders are effective in providing protection for battered women and their children.

18.5.3. Campaign to End Violence Against Women (2008)

  • THAT members support the campaign to end violence against women and urge their organisations to ensure that their members know about how to exercise their right to live without fear of violence, and are aware of the information, resources, support, protection and assistance available in their communities for victims of domestic violence.

18.5.4. Long Term Strategy For Elimination of Violence Against Women (2015)

18.5.5. Domestic Violence: Reduction of Violence In Society (2015)

18.7. Domestic Violence Act – Protected Persons (2008)

  • RECOGNISING THAT in the NGO Report to CEDAW in July 2007 the overwhelming concern for New Zealand Women was violence in all its forms; ACKNOWLEDGING THAT the Domestic Violence Act provides for programmes for Protected Persons, usually women and children, but that the uptake of these programmes is only 6%; all clubs are urged over the coming year to lobby the Ministers of Justice and Women’s Affairs to:
  • review and amend Section 29 of the Domestic Violence Act to ensure that Protected Persons are directed to commence programmes within six months of any Protection Order being made.
  • provide increased education and resourcing to promote the benefits of such programmes.

18.8. Family Violence Funding (2011)

  • THAT BPW NZ request that the Government does not cut funding to essential family violence programmes such as Te Rito, It’s Not OK, and also child advocates.

18.9. Funding for Victims of Sexual Abuse (1993, 2005, 2010)

18.11. Roper Report (1994)

18.17. Post Release Hostels for Women (2010)

18.18. Testifying by Witness (2010)

This year, in 2017, we continued our work with the passing of two policies at our national conference:

Breaches of Police Safety Orders (PSOs)

Breaches of Protection Orders

With these policies, our federation unanimously voted for breaches of police safety orders to be made a criminal offence and for breaches of protection orders to require a mandatory arrest.

BPW NZ has two additional policies which have shaped this submission:

11.4. Treaty of Waitangi (recognising that the Te Tiriti o Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document) (2012)

15.8.2. Services for Disabled People (care for women with disabilities, who are experiencing abuse) (2007)

  1. International Commitments

BPW NZ acknowledges the following international treaties which New Zealand is a party to:


In 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

It defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.

CEDAW has asked that we call it violence against women or violence against children. Family harm, family violence and domestic violence do not tell the story.

CEDAW was ratified by New Zealand in 1985.

The Optional Protocol to CEDAW is a supplementary agreement allowing complaints to be made to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and allows the Committee to investigate complaints. This was ratified by New Zealand in 2000.[9]


CEDAW was strengthened by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which was introduced in 2006 and ratified by New Zealand in 2008.

It adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Optional Protocol to CRPD is a supplementary agreement that allows individuals or groups of individuals to make a complaint (or communication) directly to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Committee) alleging a violation of any rights under the CRPD. This was ratified by New Zealand in 2016.[10]

Beijing Declaration:

One of the outcomes of the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women was the Beijing Declaration, of which strategic objective IV. D. Violence against women stated:

“Violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace. Violence against women both violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.”[11]

New Zealand has strongly committed to this declaration.[12]

  1. BPW NZ Recommendations

BPW NZ makes the following recommendations based on the considerations outlined above:

5.1   Making a breach of a police safety order a criminal offence

  • Police safety orders (PSOs): at present, and continued in this draft Bill, a breach of a PSO does not result in a criminal conviction.

BPW NZ recommends that any breach of a policy safety order be made a criminal offence.


The latest Police Data shows that the number of PSOs issued over the last five years has almost doubled. Documents released under the Official Information Act show 14,802 PSOs were issued nationwide in 2015-2016 compared to 8817 in 2011-2012.  PSOs are supposed to provide immediate protection for women, children and any other potential victims of family violence, however, the fact that a breach of a PSO can only result in the Perpetrator being held for 24 hours, significantly reduces its efficacy and does not ensure the victim’s safety.

The purpose of a PSO is to provide a “safety window” during which time the victim (s) can apply for a protection order through the courts and find a place of safety. Research suggests that the point at which a victim(s) is most at risk is at the point of separation. Breaches of PSO’s do not currently ensure a conviction takes place.

As long as a breach of a PSO is not a criminal offence, it will not be taken seriously enough by the perpetrator.

This resolution supports the work being done by Ang Jury, Chief Executive of Women’s Refuge NZ, who says: “The fact that these orders do not constitute a criminal offence is a definite weakness.”

5.2  Disabled people: this Bill does not clarify the role disabled people may have in a family relationships nor recognise that disabled people may require different and additional support as victims of family violence.

BPW NZ recommends that the special relationship that disabled people and their carers may have in clarified per clause 10, Section 4 Meaning of Family Violence.

BPW NZ urges the Minister to adopt the recommendations made in New Zealand’s 6th periodic review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights regarding violence against disabled people.


Disabled people, along with elderly and Maori, are identified as being at a higher risk of family violence. In many cases, the role of a family carer may be unpaid and casual and disabled people are dependent on carers in a unique way.

Disabled people may find it more challenging to speak out about violence and not have the capacity to seek support.

Auckland Disability Law are also providing a submission to this proposed legislation and we strongly support their recommendations.

5.3  Privacy protection: this Bill introduces new information sharing provisions, particularly in clause 69.

BPW NZ urges the Minister to adopt the recommendations of the Inquiry into the Ministry of Social Development’s Collection of Individual Client-Level Data from NGOs, under Section [13] of the Privacy Act 1993, which was released by the Privacy Commissioner April 2017.


BPW NZ club members are employees, managers, and on the Boards of social service agencies throughout New Zealand.

Our members have frontline experience, not just working with clients, but also as clients.

Although BPW NZ recognises the importance of sharing information about victims and offenders or potential offenders, we also hear of the fear they have that information about them will be shared and/or used against them.

BPW NZ believes this deters potential clients from utilizing social service agencies.

Anecdotally, our BPW Warkworth club member who is on the board of an abuse prevention service, has heard that some people are already avoiding agencies because of the fear that their information will be taken, shared and held against them at a future date.

Based on the recent Privacy Commissioner’s recent inquiry, BPW NZ understands that current individual client level data collection is consistent with the principles of the Privacy Act. We believe this Bill should support current practices and specifically, not support the collection and reporting to Government Departments, of Individual Client Level Data.

5.4  Te Tiriti o Waitangi: this Bill does not speak to New Zealand’s commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi as a founding document for New Zealand.

BPW NZ recommends that the role of Whānau be explained per clause 10, Section 4 of the Family and Whanua Violence Legislation Bill.

 That the practices and beliefs of Māori be incorporated into this Bill by widely consulting Māori in the development and implementation of this legislation.


(We refer to Mason Durie’s work in Whānau, Whanaungatanga and Healthy Māori Development published in Mai I Rangiatea, 1997)

In Aotearoa/New Zealand, the institution of whānau is more than simply an extended family network.  It is a diffuse unit, based on a common whakapapa within which certain responsibilities and obligations are maintained.

Since urbanisation, it has come to refer to a variety of ‘non-traditional’ relationships where Māori have similar interests but are not related by blood.

Whanaungatanga is the process by which whānau ties and responsibilities are strengthened – based on the principle of both sexes and all generations supporting and working alongside each other.

Therefore, all policies and interventions should be whānau-centred in their approach.

Since New Zealand has an obligation to the Treaty of Waitangi and therefore a bi-cultural responsibility to uphold Māori sovereignty over their own health and wellbeing, we believe that Māori should be consulted in all changes and updates to family violence policy.

Not least because Māori people are highly represented in terms of offenders and victims of family violence, consultation with Māori in this policy is crucial.

  1. Concluding Summary

BPW NZ supports this legislation but has outlined recommendations regarding Policy Safety Orders, disabled people, privacy, and our commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.

This reflects our international treaty commitments and the advice of national experts, such as the Privacy Commissioner and the Human Rights Commission.

BPW NZ is passionate about the issue of family violence.

We acknowledge the startling statistics – 80,000 and 90,000 police investigations each year centre on family violence – that reflect women, men, and children who are victims of violence. We implore the Justice and Electoral to consider our recommendations.

 Thank you for the opportunity to submit our submission and we hope that our comments are of use to you.

On behalf, of

New Zealand Federation of Business and professional Women Inc.



Hellen Swales                                                                                                         Janet Gibb

President                                                                                            Vice President, Issues 


Contact details:-

Hellen Swales 027 528 6799

[1] Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, G.A. Res. 48/104, U.N. Doc. A/RES/48/104 (Feb. 23, 1994)

[2] Ministry of Social Development,







[9] ttp://





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Treat her right

We need your voice, and as many voices as possible, so we can turn up the volume on this issue. Politicians need to hear from all New Zealanders that it’s no longer 1972. It’s 2017 and it’s time for New Zealand to be a fair place, a place where the sisters are treated the same as the misters.


The average difference between what men and women are paid (this is sometimes called the gender pay gap).

Paying men and women the same pay for the same work. After the Bartlett v Terranova case, this is also thought to include pay equity.

Equal pay for work of equal value.

Equal pay for work of equal value means that, as well as women getting the same pay as men for the same job, women should get the same pay as men for doing a different but comparable job—a job involving comparable skills, years of training, responsibility, effort and working conditions.

This is a policy principle in international conventions ratified by New Zealand, which require government action. This principle is addressed by two New Zealand Acts: the Government Services Equal Pay Act 1960 and the Equal Pay Act 1972, both still in force. Despite this, equal pay for work of equal value is not being delivered. The terms of the Equal Pay 1972 are not being implemented fully by the government.

It’s time to pay the sisters the same as the misters.
It’s time to Treat Her Right

The current gender pay imbalance is 13%. In 2016, women’s average weekly earnings ($432 a week) were 61.1% of men’s earnings ($707 a week).

Based on current figures, it’s going to take 45 years for women before women will be paid equally. And that’s not on.

Equal pay affects everyone: the recent uni grad just starting her first job, the mum who is taking a couple of years out of paid work to raise her children, or the home care worker who gets paid less than a male doing a comparable job. Treat Her Right is about all of us.

The Equal Pay Act 1972 prohibited discrimination of employees’ pay rates based on their sex. It also stipulated men and women in the same job must be paid equally; as well as equal pay for work of equal value for jobs that mainly employ women. However, these terms have not been fully implemented since 1972—shown in our current 13% gender pay imbalance.

“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be a part of your revolution”

— Emma Goldman

It’s taken a long time, and a lot of people, to get to this point.

There are many women like Prue Hyman, feminist economist; Martha Coleman, lawyer; and Elizabeth Tennet, former Labour Party MP. There’s Kristine Bartlett, the rest home worker who brought a pay equity case to the Supreme Court in 2012 and won. They’ve paved the way for us. But there is so much more to be done!

There’s Donna Summer, the 1980s songstress who sings the soundtrack (and the title) for the campaign. She works hard for the money/ so you better treat her right. Summer wrote the song after an encounter she had with an exhausted Los Angeles restroom attendant, Onetta Johnson.

There’s the 200 wahine who turned up in December 2016 to help us film our campaign video. Nurses, undertakers, home care workers, women danced to Summer’s She Works Hard for the Money in a synchronised dance sequence. When the camera rolled, each one lived in their own Beyoncé moment.

Photo: Jinki Cambronero

There are women like Director Loren Taylor and Cinematographer Ginny Loane, who brought Treat Her Right to life on film in the campaign video. Double Denim’s Directors, Angela Meyer and Anna Dean, who devised the Treat Her Right campaign. There’s the crew at Shut Up and Dance, who choreographed the video.

And finally, there’s the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, who commissioned this campaign. Unions are the united voice for working people and their families in New Zealand. They bring together 320,000 New Zealand union members in 31 affiliated unions, and promote unionisation and collectivism through active campaigns. They’re all about equal rights, inclusivity and equal opportunity.

The Treat Her Right campaign exists to inform and educate the public about equal pay, to make sure that the issue of equal pay is high on the government agenda.


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Kids explain why women are paid less than men

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