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Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act 2002

NZ $50.00
Author(s): Shona Carr, Alastair Sherriff
Published: 28 April, 2003
Pages: 164


The Health and Safety In Employment Act 1992 (“the HSE”) began life a decade ago on All Fools’ Day 1993.

It has been amended a number of times in a minor way, significantly in 1998 (1998/3) (“the 1998 Amendment”) and more significantly last Christmas Eve (“the 2002 Amendment”). The 2002 Amendment prompted this refresher seminar.

The HSE was a political piece of legislation shifting the cost of compliance for identifying and addressing health and safety issues in the workplace from central government to enterprises and persons in the workplace. This was discussed in our 1996 seminar series. The 1998 Amendment was principally a political response to the Berryman litigation (Department of Labour v Berryman Judge TM Abbott, DC, New Plymouth, CRN 4068004254, Feb 22, 1996). It rewrote s 16. The 2002 Amendment is a further major political statement, which, under our MMP political system was enacted with partisan political positions clear. National, ACT, and United opposed major sections of the bill in its passage through the select committee process and parliamentary debate. (See eg Commentary to the (2001) Bill as reported to the 47th Parliament (2002) from the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee.) The National Party has recently signalled it will repeal the references to stress in the legislation, if elected. (See eg Roger Sowry, National’s labour spokesperson quoted front page headline NBR 15-11-02)

The HSE contained 62 sections. Nineteen of these are either amended or repealed. Over 30 new sections are inserted, together with a new schedule, by the 2002 Amendment.

Significant provisions in the Maritime Transport Act 1994 and the Transport Services Licensing Act 1989 (relating to ships and trains respectively) are repealed by the 2002 Amendment. The relevant coverage is now included in the Act.

To say the bill leading to the 2002 Amendment was controversial is an understatement - 120 separate submitters appeared before the select committee over a period of nearly 45 select committee hours.

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