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Maori Authority joins the call for an Inquiry into Ports across the country

The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has joined with the unions to call on an Inquiry into the state of the workplace across New Zealand Ports. Tukaki said the Maori Authority needed to act to support the standing up of an Inquiry because a large portion of the workforce are Maori and Pacific and the conditions are just not acceptable making it clear that “no New Zealander should be in a position where they go to work and don’t return to their whanau alive”

Tukaki said the issue of the Ports goes deeper than just the health and safety environment its also about workplace laws going so far to the casualisation extreme:

“The Ports of Auckland and ports right across the country are dangerous working environments and while the headlines of a death do grab our attention the other harsh reality is that workers are injured all the time. Some of those injuries are minor but others can be quite severe. When you are injured its going to mean time off work, its going to mean a potential loss of income and depending on the injury it could ultimately end your career.” Tukaki said

“Then there is pressure on the whanau left behind who are forced to pick up the pieces. It makes for a perfect storm and it all starts by having unsafe working conditions” Tukaki said

“In this most recent case at the Ports of Auckland the young man who was killed worked for a private company called Wallace Investments who run a stevedoring business. If there is going to be a national inquiry the scope should also include all private operators and contracting businesses at the Ports and also captured should be their employment and hiring policies, occupational safety and health frameworks and a full review done on whether or not workers rights as employees are being met” Tukaki said

“I want to reiterate my point that no matter the workplace every New Zealander who goes to work should arrive home to their whanau alive and in this case the Ports across the country are possibly our most at risk. That why the unions are right; its time for an Inquiry to get to the bottom of what has happening.” Tukaki said


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