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POLITICS

"Women-only plan ignores diversity"

Friday 5 July 2013, 12:53PM
By Auckland Chamber of Commerce
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We have moved beyond gender balance as the sole differentiating criteria for selecting people of merit to top jobs, says Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett.

In a diverse society in which everyone has an equal opportunity, selecting people to top jobs based on merit is the primary consideration.

He was commenting on the Labour Party’s proposed changes to its selection processes to block men from running for some seats in a bid to lift the proportion of women in caucus to 50% by 2017.

“The issue is about diversity. For a broadly representative group such as a political party ensuring a balanced representation covering ethnicity, age, youth, skills and sexual preference is surely the overriding consideration.”

“To say it is just about women versus males is archaic and wrong,” said Mr Barnett.

“More and more women are becoming available for selection to top jobs based on merit, and that’s to be applauded. But where our effort now needs to go is to find ways to ensure that the diversity in our society gets the full representation it deserves in top positions across society,” concluded Mr Barnett.