24 Aug 2015

Labour seeks cross party meeting over safety bill 'mess'

6:25 am on 24 August 2015

The Labour Party leader is calling for the Government to meet with all political parties this week to discuss its controversial Health and Safety Reform Bill.

Labour Party Leader, Andrew Little.

Andrew Little Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Andrew Little said the Government legislation was a total mess and it needed cross-party consensus to get it back on track.

Under the legislation, workplaces that fall into the high-risk category will be required to have a health and safety officer - but Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse has controversially classified sheep, beef and dairy farms as low-risk.

While during the bill's committee stages in Parliament last week, government MPs were ridiculed for including worm farming and mini-golf in a high-risk category.

Mr Little said the Government had to make changes to the bill if it was to restore public confidence in it.

"People are questioning just exactly what the law is now going to achieve. That's not a good thing."

He said that was why he was calling for talks to thrash out various changes.

Mr Little said all workplaces should be able to choose to appoint a health and safety representative if they wanted one.

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