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Welcome to my latest Eye on Ilam. With Parliament currently sitting there are some real concerns over some of the legislation being pushed through by this Government, of particular note are the Employment Law Changes.

Locally I continue to receive a large amount of correspondence regarding the chlorination by the Christchurch City Council of our water.

I share my thoughts on both of these issues below, and enclose an invitation to a local business meeting I am hosting to discuss the impact employment law changes will have on businesses. 

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me through my office on 359 0582 or



Hon Gerry Brownlee

Member of Parliament for Ilam

Back to the Future for Unions

We have on our electorate database over 600 businesses that operate out of the Ilam electorate. Many of those businesses will be employers. There are some significant industrial relations law changes that will impact every employer.

Everyone wants to see anyone in a job well treated, well respected and ideally well paid. But the legislation proposed, in my opinion, completely fails to recognise the risk that many people take to acquire the capital to back up a business and make it work. It’s little wonder then when you see these types of laws coming through that we currently have a problem with business confidence.

When you have a crisis of confidence, that effectively means investment needed to grow businesses slows up at the very least, if not stops.

That has a flow on effect to revenue streams the Government relies on for the provision of core services in our community.

This it’s not something the Prime Minister should be dismissing in the trite way in which she has, it is a genuine recognition from people who have put their capital on the line that risk exposure is increasing as the government progresses their legislative programme.

It is interesting to note we have had so many strikes recently (60 in nine months, compared to 30 in nine years). This industrial action alongside a lack of business confidence, indicates the worst of all worlds for the Government. One; a massive expectation from many employee groups, and two; they’re introducing laws, rules and regulations that make it harder for businesses to operate. All in all it doesn’t bode well for a positive economic outlook.

Chlorine - It's got to go

I’ve been very interested to note an article the other day about the number of hot water cylinders that have failed since the introduction of chlorine. I’ve been even more interested in the silence from the Christchurch City Council about the link between chlorination and the number of hot water cylinder failures.

I’m reliably informed that a similar rise in cylinder failures occurred in Havelock North after they had their campylobacter contamination and introduced chlorine into the water.

The Christchurch City Council needs to be more upfront about their water programme. They may think they’re doing that, but when I see things like a survey asking if residences in our part of the city would be prepared to forego garden watering in order to have un-chlorinated water, I think they are just playing games with us.

I still reflect on the fact that post the February 2011 earthquakes we only had about four days where there were boil water warnings, and that was after some very significant ground movement.

So Christchurch City Council, be a bit more upfront please on the ongoing chlorination of our water and the potential effects on hot water cylinders from that chlorinated supply.

Public meeting on Employment Law




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