The Maritime Union is backing a proposed bill from Labour MP Darien Fenton to make sure Ports are covered by official information laws.

Ports’ exclusion from official information laws covering central and local government has always been an anomaly, and the Ports of Auckland dispute has highlighted the need for them to be included, Maritime Union president Garry Parsloe said.

“The Port is one of the most important assets Aucklanders own.  The public deserves the right to ask the hard questions about how their Port is being managed on their behalf.”

“Having access to information, in the same way the public does with other central and local government functions, is an essential part of this,” Garry Parsloe said.

“There have been genuine questions of concern about the Ports’ handling of the recent employment negotiations.”

“These have included the extent to which plans to contract out jobs were designed prior to negotiations commencing, the registration of Pacific Crew Stevedoring prior to the March 7th announcement to contract out, the amount of money the Port has spent on its PR and advertising campaign, and the extent to which the company condoned the release of personnel files to the NBR and Whaleoil.”

“As always sunlight is the best disinfectant in these matters.  We are hopeful that Parliament will end the anomaly excluding Ports from official information laws.”

“Any response that Ports should continue to be excluded will be interesting to hear,” Garry Parsloe said.