National says it is "sad" the Jacinda Ardern-led government has so quickly dropped gender pay equity legislation.
But Labour has hit back, saying the previous administration's legislation "was deliberately designed to put barriers in the way of women who wish to make a pay equity claim".
Nikki Kaye, Amy Adams and Judith Collins were all critical of the decision today to drop the legislation.
"I think it is a very sad day that one of the first actions of our woman Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is to remove this piece of legislation from the motion that we have before us," Kaye said in Parliament.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"And there have been comments made regarding the lack of females in the executive and I just think we should reflect on that."
Labour later released a statement heavily critical of the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill introduced to Parliament in July.
"All three Government parties were clear during the Bill's first reading that we were opposed to the legislation, and that we would not rest until New Zealand workers have genuine opportunities for pay equity," Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway said in the statement.
"While both sides of the House seemed united in lauding the TerraNova decision in favour of care and support workers and Kristine Bartlett, the previous Government immediately introduced legislation that fundamentally changed the ability of anyone else to achieve the same result.
"The current legislation diminishes the opportunity for people to make a pay equity claim, and we were clear that if we were elected then it would be the end of the line for this Bill. We were, and it is.
"The Government will stop progress on the Employment (Equal Pay and Pay Equity) Bill and start work on new legislation that adheres to all the principles of the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity."
Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter said National's legislation was deliberately designed to put barriers in the way of women who wish to make a pay equity claim.
"The care and support workers settlement would not have gone ahead if National's legislation had been in place. It put significant hurdles in the way of women trying to achieve pay equity. This is not acceptable in New Zealand in 2017."