Paula Bennett's job to fix gender pay gap - Winston Peters

  • 09/03/2017

Winston Peters has challenged the Government to ensure the Public Service leads the way in equal pay for women.

The NZ First leader says it's up to the Minister for Women, Paula Bennett, to see it happens.

"The ball is in her court - as part of a Government that employs 47,500 people in the Public Service she can change the system and attitudes," he said.

"The minister must stride into Cabinet and say no job is 'women's work' - it's time for a change."

Mr Peters says the Crown Law office has a 39 percent gender pay gap, the Social Services Commission 27 percent and the Ministry of Education 26 percent.

Across the Public Service the gap is 14 percent, he says.

The official gender pay gap is 12 percent.

"Families rely on women working, and there is a huge requirement for women to work yet they do not get fair wages," Mr Peters said.

The gender pay gap has become a hot political issue since Auckland University of Technology on Tuesday released research which showed "unconscious bias" was to blame for 80 percent of the reasons women are paid less than men.

The Green Party has put up a bill it believes would close the gap but Ms Bennett says legislation isn't the way forward at this stage.

"I think that publishing the data, for the first time in 14 years, gets the right information out there... because I think a lot of people think that there isn't a pay gap and this research proves that there is," she said.