Oh for God’s sake, it’s not that difficult!

The politicians can’t agree on Easter trading.

A Parliamentary committee has reached a stalemate over a bill that would allow local councils to decide on Easter trading hours.

After months of examining it, members on the Commerce Select Committee could not agree on whether to support the bill, meaning it will go back to parliament unchanged.

The committee heard strong opposition from some councils who said it would put extra costs and pressures on them.

The chair, and National MP Melissa Lee, said it was disappointing the committee was unable to make changes that would have protected the rights of workers on Easter Sunday.  

“Because there were some aspects of the bill where we were wanting to make an amendment to extend the rights of the workers who actually work on Easter Sunday to refuse to work without prejudice,” she said.

Opposition parties have said the government should not be burdening councils with such a decision.

The Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill passed its first parliamentary reading in a conscience vote in November last year, with 75 to 45 in favour of the bill.

Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse, who put forward the legislation, said last year the changes were necessary because the current rules were complex and arbitrary.

Don’t fix the legislation, just repeal the Easter Trading hours and make them like any other day.

Job done.


– RadioNZ


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  • AndrewML

    I don’t agree. If people can’t organize themselves so they don’t have to shop every day then whose going to help them in a disaster situation. That’s the one thing you can count on. Seriously only 2 day’s a year.

    • MrHippo

      Agree entirely we have Anzac morning, Good Friday and Christmas day. I would not think leglislation to cover that would be so complex I.e Closed.

    • ex-JAFA

      That’s a great way to run a business. Just stick a sign in the window saying, “You wanted to shop here? You should’ve been here yesterday when we were open.”

      If a business wishes to trade, and incur the associated costs (wages, electricity, etc.), that should be the business’s sole decision. If nobody wants to give them their custom because they either oppose businesses being open on that day or because they were well enough organised not to need to shop on that day, the business will soon decide the costs of being open aren’t worth their while and will close. But that will be the business’s decision.

  • Gazza

    I don’t care what the result is either way but what does need to happen is fairness and consistency across the country and not have handpicked suburbs or small business locations having the right to open when their next door business neighbour does not, like the ridiculous situation between Parnell and Newmarket. The other one that gets my blood boiling is the ‘surcharge’ legislation, if as a business you cant work out what days are holidays throughout the year where you have to pay staff extra and then adjust your pricing accordingly for the trading year then you have no place being in business. It was supposed to be a temp piece of legislation introduced by Aunty Helen to assist businesses with the transition of changes to the Holidays Act in 2003, and here we still are 13 years later. Is it that hard to work out?????

  • Beria

    Labour is quite correct that councils should not be the arbiter of local religious norms and rights throughout our land. Any workplace rights to observance for movable religious or cultural feasts should be a decision for central government.

  • localnews

    Is that Melissa Lee from the unite Union, or Melissa Lee the national mp?

  • Keyser Soze

    Riiiiiight Minister Woodhouse, you’re planning on replacing rules that ‘complex and arbitrary’ with rules that are determined by local councils? Name a single council anywhere in the history of time that has come up with a rule that is not complex and arbitrary! With councils deciding, they will no doubt by guided by the local mayor’s Union buddies or alternatively his/her personal religious bent. If you believe that’s not going to end up complex and arbitrary I’ve got a bridge to sell you!