A remembrance event for employees who died at work was held at Pilot Bay yesterday to mark Workers Memorial Day. Services were held around the country.

Speakers included Tamati Coffey of the Labour Party, representatives from local iwi, activists and unions, Worksafe NZ and the Green Party. Council of Trade Unions president Richard Wagstaff said Kiwis were safer at work thanks to the new health and safety laws that came into force at the start of the month but there was still work to be done.

"We know that people that work on farms need better protections, particularly those using quad bikes. We also know that elected health and safety representatives are crucial in keeping working people safe but are under attack by some employers.

"We must also address the menace of asbestos - New Zealand's worst workplace killer. We urge Cabinet to ban the import of asbestos-containing materials but that is not enough. We need a plan to eliminate it from our buildings."