Another Easter Trading Bill

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean is preparing a private member’s bill to enable Wanaka businesses to trade legally on Easter Sunday.

Mrs Dean has gained approval from the National Party caucus to spearhead a Bill directed specifically at the Queenstown Lakes district, which she says will address concerns in Wanaka about Easter trading.

It would apply specifically to the Queenstown Lakes District Council and aim to correct the anomalies in the Shop Trading Hours Act Repeal Act (1990), in which Queenstown was granted a general exemption to trade at Easter but Wanaka was not, she said.

The current legislation is full of anomalies, one of which is that retailers in Queenstown can trade when those over the hill in Wanaka can’t.

Another is that Wanaka’s book store and supermarket can’t open but the town’s petrol station can sell magazines and food.

This will be Jacqui’s second bill on the issue, the first which was aimed at Easter Trading in general wasn’t passed. Rotorua MP Todd McLay tried another bill to address the issue last year but that failed by a few votes.

This isn’t an attack on anyone’s faith. It’s what you believe and do which makes a day holy, not what the law allows.

It’s not an attack on workers or families. Most shops in Wanaka open anyway,

This is just an attempt to allow them to do so legally.

8 Responses to Another Easter Trading Bill

  1. Seán says:

    “Another is that Wanaka’s book store and supermarket can’t open but the town’s petrol station can sell magazines and food.”

    Oh boo hoo. I never buy into the usually feeble (anti-change) excuse of “there are more important things to worry about”, but in this case I think I’ll make an exception.

  2. Andrei says:

    This isn’t an attack on anyone’s faith. It’s what you believe and do which makes a day holy, not what the law allows.

    No just another step along the way of air-brushing New Zealand’s Christian heritage out of the picture.

    What you fail to comprehend is in the spiritual vacuum created other far more pernicious “belief systems” can take hold.

    There are the harmless new agers who howl at the moon but cults, sects and death religions also can also prosper and ther is plenty of evidence that they are starting to do so.

  3. homepaddock says:

    Andrei, if the law didn’t already allow some shops in all palces and all shops in some places to open I might agree.

    But it does and I don’t think Queenstown where all shops can open legally and some don’t is more or less Christian than Wanaka neighbouring where most can’t and some do.

  4. Seán says:

    “if the law didn’t already allow some shops in all palces and all shops in some places to open I might agree.”

    Is this a “two wrongs make a right” scenario or have I read it incorrectly?

  5. Mr Gronk says:

    Whatever the merits or otherwise of Easter trading, I at least welcome attempts to clarify and simplify the law.

    With regards to opening Easter trading up generally (which I know is not the intent of this particular Bill), I would feel happier about any proposed change if it spelt out that employers aren’t to request particular staff to work on those days unless those staff have opted to make themselves available, and furthermore that willingness or otherwise to work at Easter shouldn’t play any part in hiring decisions. I admit there’s a bit of self-interest coming through there; I don’t like the thought of being turned down for a job (in Wanaka or anywhere else) because I’m “only” willing to work 362 days of the year, while Joe Secular is happy to work on any of the 365.

  6. Seán says:

    With all due respect Mr Gronk, don’t you think there is a bit of conflict between the statements “I at least welcome attempts to clarify and simplify the law.” and “if it spelt out that employers aren’t to request particular staff to work on those days unless those staff have opted to make themselves available, and furthermore that willingness or otherwise to work at Easter shouldn’t play any part in hiring decisions.”. While it may not be too difficult to state this in writing in a bill, the realities of it are surely more complex and also ripe for confusion and exploitation?

  7. homepaddock says:

    I think – but am not certain, so please correct me if I’m wrong – that existing legislation allows people in those areas where Easter trading is premitted to opt out of working on Good Friday & Easter Sunday.

  8. Seán says:

    I am not sure either sorry, but as you said in your post “The current legislation is full of anomalies” so I presume from that that it is not ideal. For me, a simplification would be to remove the exceptions, not add more. In saying that I do understand the reasoning from the “tourist towns”, I just don’t agree it is reason enough.

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