And a Treasury working paper in 2004 found that a 69% increase in the minimum wage for 18 and 19 year olds in 2001 and a 41% increase in the minimum wage for 16 and 17 year-olds over a two year period had no adverse effects on youth employment or hours worked. In fact hours of work increased for 16-17 year olds relative to other age groups.

The changes proposed will bring a fair deal to vulnerable workers, and give effect to Parliament's original policy intent when it first addressed this issue in 2004.

Now we can manage our destiny. Without this agreement, we would be going to court forever and we would have to put our children and old ladies dressed in button blankets in the way of the chain saws.

We think that cross-border operations would be unwise.

This week's redundancies also serve as a reminder not to talk up the benefits of a Free Trade Agreement with China. While some will argue the benefits in a FTA for New Zealand agricultural exporters, the effects on the 300,000 workers employed in the manufacturing industries could be devastating.

It was awesome to go undefeated. We are going to celebrate tonight but we have to come back and work hard if we want to win the tournament. We would love to play Illinois in the final like we have the last few years. It's always a great match when we play them. We have guys that thrive off of big game atmospheres and it's always special when we compete against them.