Law to ban gang insignia a political stunt which ignores government workersPublish By Robert Valenti Updated 17/08/2012 3:02 am in NZ News / no comments
PSA For Immediate Use
A government bill to ban gang insignia in all government offices has not been thought through and ignores the problems it would pose for staff, according to the Public Service Association.
The Prohibition of Gang Insignia in Government Premises Bill, introduced by National MP Todd McClay, had its first reading in parliament last night.
The PSA says it has serious implications for frontline staff in government offices all over the country.
“I think they will have very legitimate questions about how it will work in practice and who will be responsible for enforcing it,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.
59 per cent of government workers are women.
“Imagine a staff member at a small rural office trying to tell a patched gang member in their local community that they won’t be served or that they have to leave the premises. It could put staff in a very difficult situation which they are not equipped to deal with.”
Many government offices are already dealing with angry and frustrated clients due to the government’s public sector cuts, which have led to reduced services in many areas.
Brenda Pilott says it’s likely to add another layer of stress for them.
“The legislation is a political stunt which should not be allowed to rush through parliament.”