Bradford to attend ILO

  • Max Bradford

Labour Minister Max Bradford is bringing a strong message about the need for reform to the International Labour Organisation in Geneva next week.

"Many of the ILO's conventions are out of date and inappropriate for integrated market economies and for developing countries," Mr Bradford said.

"Our economy and that of many other countries such as Australia, the United States and a good chunk of Europe, do not fit the tripartite, interventionist structure embodied in many ILO conventions.

"Increasingly, developed and developing countries are turning to non-interventionist industrial relations frameworks to improve labour market flexibility and fairness. Those are the principles New Zealand's Employment Contract Act is based on, and they play a major role in improving international competitiveness for our businesses."

Mr Bradford said there was a need for reform to bring the ILO into this part of the century, as well as a need to look at the ILO's administrative structure, performance and costs.

Mr Bradford is to deliver New Zealand's statement to the ILO on June 10.

While in Geneva, Mr Bradford will meet the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs Sadako Ogata, to discuss New Zealand's commitment to resettling UNHCR refugees.

Mr Bradford will also travel to London to meet some of his counterparts in the new British Labour Government.

Another major focus of his trip are the electricity industry reforms which the UK and Norway have implemented in the past few years.

"It may well be there are lessons to be learned from Britain and Norway, particularly in achieving competition for small consumers."

Mr Bradford said New Zealand had been a world leader with deregulation and market reform, but could not afford to ignore developments in other countries which were going beyond New Zealand.