Where are the small business owners?

Labour has announced the make up of what they call their “Future of Work Commission“.

Most Kiwis?work in small business, or own one. Yet they are not represented in the future of work commission.

Labour?s Finance spokesperson and Chair of the Future of Work Commission Grant Robertson has announced the membership of the External Reference Group which will guide the Commission?s work over the next two years.

?The External Reference Group brings a wide range of knowledge and experience to this important project.?We have people from business, union, academic and community backgrounds, all of whom bring specialist skills that will provide expertise to ensure the Commission meets its goals.

?We have deliberately cast a wide net to get people who will challenge us.?We want to be clear that each person who has agreed to be on the reference group is doing so because they believe in the importance of the issues the Commission is considering.?Their involvement should not be construed as indicating any political preference by them or their organisation.? ?

The members of the External Reference Group are:

  • Michael Barnett (Chief Executive, Auckland ???? Chamber of Commerce)
  • Helen Kelly (President of the CTU)
  • Victoria Crone (Managing Director, Xero)
  • Prof Tim Bentley (Director, AUT Future of Work ???? Programme)
  • Sue Ryall (Manager, Centre for Labour, ???? Employment and Work, Victoria University)
  • John Blakey (Chief Executive, Competenz ITO)
  • Matthew Tukaki (Chief Executive of EntreHub)
  • Linc Gasking (Founder and Chief Executive of 8i)

Two further members will be added to the group in the coming weeks, including one with experience and knowledge of Pasifika communities. The group will meet on a monthly basis, using video and teleconferencing, with its first meeting taking place today.

?The Future of Work Commission will focus on five work streams: technology, security of work and income, education and training, Maori and Pasifika, and economic development and sustainability.?The next step for the Commission is the drafting of discussion papers for each stream that will be part of a nationwide consultation process beginning in May,? Grant Robertson says.

Yeah, just what we need, academics, unionists, bludger representatives and policy wonks with a few from big business telling us how our future should look.

No one in Labour has ever had a job or run a business outside of the state sector…having them work out what the future of work should look like is akin to asking a rabbi for the best pork recipes.

You have to wonder what Michael Barnett is doing getting involved with this crowd.