“Business owners will be cringing as the Government’s Bill to create another public holiday passed its second reading last night,” says ACT’s Small Business spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“Minimum wage increases, so-called Fair Pay Agreements, a taxpayer-fueled employment insurance scheme, watered down 90 day trials and increased sick leave. Business owners will be wondering what on earth they’ve done to deserve this Government.

“An additional public holiday will cost businesses $450 million. With businesses still suffering as a result of unworkable rules and a recession on the cards, businesses can’t afford to keep taking hit after hit from the Government.

“If Matariki is added to the list of holidays, it should be swapped with one of the other 11 statutory holidays instead. Introducing another holiday is just a kick in the guts for hard-working business owners struggling to keep afloat.

“ACT will stand up for New Zealand businesses. We will:

  • Reverses the Government’s workplace relations changes, including Matariki, or swap it for one of the other existing statutory holidays.
  • Reverse new sick leave entitlements
  • Reinstates 90-day trials for all businesses
  • Pauses minimum wage increases for three years

“We need to put money back into the pockets of hard working Kiwis if we’re going to dig ourselves out of the economic hole we’ve found ourselves in as a country. Good, hardworking, productive employees will be the winners with pay increases based on merit.”