Philippine Embassy enhances closer cooperation with labour inspectorate officials of New Zealand
As part of the Philippine Embassy’s continuing priority to engage and collaborate closely with relevant authorities in New Zealand especially on matters relating to the welfare and well-being of Filipinos, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez hosted a luncheon meeting with Mr. George Mason, General Manager, and Mr. Steve Watson, Regional Manager, of the New Zealand Labour Inspectorate, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment at “Ang Bahay” (Philippine Ambassador’s residence) on 4 April 2014. Also present were Minister and Consul General Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa and Vice Consul Glenn Joseph Q. Obach.
Ambassador Benavidez warmly welcomed Mr. Mason and Mr. Watson and thanked them for the opportunity to meet with them, exchange views and share updates on developments on employment and labour policies, procedures, promotion and protection of migrant workers’ rights and other aspects related to the work place. Subsequent discussions focused on the work being done and the measures being undertaken by the Labour Inspectorate for both employers and employees in the rebuild and reconstruction of Christchurch, the dairy sector and other areas to ensure compliance with health and safety standards, equal rights, equitable and fair treatment and entitlements. Ambassador Benavidez shared the updates on possible arrangements being worked out between New Zealand and the Philippines for country specific provisions for the recruitment and deployment of Filipino skilled workers to New Zealand in accordance with the employment policies and practices of both countries. Mr. Mason, Mr. Watson and Philippine Embassy officials had enlightening discussions on steps being undertaken by relevant authorities in New Zealand and the Philippines to address concerns and resolve problems related to the employment, workers’ rights, payment of wages, compliance with provisions of employment contracts, pastoral care and other needs of migrant workers as well as those involving employers and their treatment and recruitment of workers and related issues. The Philippine Embassy officials and the Labour Inspectorate officials highlighted the importance of close coordination, contact and engagement with one another to discuss and resolve problems and concerns of the Filipino workers.
Ambassador Benavidez thanked both Mr. Mason and Mr. Watson for a fruitful meeting and the open door between them and the Embassy to address Filipino workers’ concerns and stated that she looks forward to strengthening further mutually beneficial collaboration with the Labour Inspectorate of New Zealand