Maybe this time

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean’s bill on Easter trading laws was drawn from the Member’s Ballot in parliament today.

The Shop Trading Hours Act Repeal (Waitaki Easter Trading) Amendment Bill 2010 seeks to allow all retailers within districts covered by the Waitaki Electorate to trade on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It aims to address the anomaly that occurs within parts of the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago areas, where Queenstown has an exemption to trade over Easter, but other towns do not.

Mrs Dean said she believed her bill had the potential to create a new era for tourism retailers in her electorate.

“I made a commitment to the people that I represent that I would keep working on Easter trading until the law was changed. Today is the first step in that process and I am pleased and proud that we have reached this milestone.  

“I am taking a regional approach with my bill this time as the entire Waitaki Electorate relies heavily on tourism, and is a busy place over the Easter period.

“Despite setbacks in the past, I am now confident that we can successfully achieve Easter trading law changes which will mean that retailers in busy tourist towns, like Wanaka, can open their doors if and when they chose to do so.

“I am not about forcing people to open on Easter Sunday, but rather I want everyone to have the choice.

“I acknowledge that some people may not support my bill on religious grounds, but I believe the time has come to recognize that many people work over Easter in essential services like hospitals, police and the fire service, and they do so without adversely impacting on family life.

“In fact many young people in tourist towns like Wanaka see extra work over Easter as an opportunity to earn extra cash.

“I am hoping that Parliament will send the Waitaki Bill to select committee so that we can have a fresh look and an informed debate around the realities of commerce over Easter, and addressing the anomalies that exist in the present laws.

“I believe people are now ready for change and I am confident that I will get the support that I need to make these progressive changes happen.”

This is Jacqui’s second attempt to address the anomalies  in current law which enable shops in Queenstown to open but prevent  shops selling  the same thing a few kilometres over the hill in Wanaka from opening. The current law also enables some businesses, for example service stations to sell a range of items normally sold in supermarkets or book shops which can’t open.

Easter Sunday isn’t a public holiday and the proposed law change isn’t a threat to religion. The law and what it allow or disallows does not make a day holy.

Nor is the proposed change a threat to employees. They will not be forced tow ork and shops which prefer not to open will be free to stay closed.

The Bill is simply an attempt to get a common sense solution for a small part of the country and it will in effect be legalising what already happens because many Wanaka retailers open illegally and accept the costs as part of their costs.

Rotorua MP Todd McLay’s bill on Easter trading was lost by a handful of votes last year.

8 Responses to Maybe this time

  1. Andrei says:

    Easter Sunday isn’t a public holiday and a threat to religion

    Pascha, Easter just happens to be the holiest holiday on the Christian calendar, and those servants of Satan, who are too foolish to even know to whom they are paying homage, want it airbrushed away to serve their master.

    The onward march of paganism proceeds.

    We will be able celebrate the Resurrection by purchasing dross but not with our children because they will working because if you work for the man it his choice whether you work or not.

  2. Neil says:

    I certainly hope that neighbouring electorate members, like Bill English, will support Jacqui Dean’s efforts.
    Mr English has Easter trading exemptions in Queenstown while in the last vote on Todd McLay’s bill he opposed Sunday Easter trading.

  3. Gravedodger says:

    In short, probably not
    With an unlikely coalition of religious zealots, trade unionists and assorted others who couldn’t care less, the status quo will be retained and the completely idiotic system where shops separated by a bureaucratic decision based on a meaningless definition as to what constitutes a “tourist town” will have a different status assigned.
    Attempts to sort this mess out have failed over the years and I fear this well intentioned effort by Ms Jacqui Dean will I fear have the same result and the natural law of unintended consequences will apply.
    I have not read this latest attempt but if safeguards for employees are in place and a business chooses to open then for all that is holy to those of us who find any state control on our freedoms that don’t actually impact on others by compulsion, then let it go.
    I will in all probability be “on call” and that is my choice, should someone need my services at mass on Good Friday I hope they will appreciate my offer to help.

  4. Andrew says:

    I do not see a reason for any laws about trading days.

    @Andrei, do you not see a difference between your preference demanding that no one trade (compulsion), and my preference saying that it is the individuals choice, not a role for government legislation?

    Freedom, is the cornerstone of civilisation, but your advocacy for the restriction of trading days is no less oppressive than those historic figures who chose to draw the blood of non-believers in the name of their faith.

    Everytime this topic gets attention, advocates of the staus quo attempt to argue that we “freedom advocates” are forcing others to our adopt “pagan” ways. Wrong! I will protect the rights of “non-pagans” to NOT trade, equally, I respect the right of everyone else to trade any day they wish.

    If you want freedom to practise your faith, first you must respect the freedom of others to not practise your faith.

    I have no right to force you trade with my shop on any day, equally you do not have the moral right to force my shop doors closed on any day.


  5. homepaddock says:

    Neil – it was a conscience vote and as a committed Catholic, Bill was guided by his conscience. I don’t have a problem with that.

    Andrei – I’d missed some words out of the sentence you qutoed, it should have read: Easter Sunday isn’t a public holiday and the proposed law change isn’t a threat to religion.

    You made sense of it anyway but like GD and Andrew, I support allowing people to choose – as they can in some shops in all places and all shops in some places under existing law.

  6. Andrei says:

    In fact I’m old calendar which is a blessing which
    means that our Church Festivals usually don’t align with when the “public celebration” of them anyway.

    And it is a good thing given the way a giant dump has been taken on them by people who have lost all contact with their own heritage and don’t value it – in fact want to trash it.

    But opening the shops on Easter Sunday is as barbaric as destroying the Mona Lisa would be.

    You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

  7. Neil says:

    At no stage HP did I mention Mr English’s Catholic religion.(Well I did in my first draft and then removed it before posting.)
    Conscience votes are ok but spare a thought for people who don’t agree. HP you know as well as I do that the current law is an ass.
    Just a case of nanny state and big brother trying to ensure the status quo.Great for the tourist business and our Confucian visitors from China.

  8. Hollyfield says:

    One argument for the shops being shut is that retail workers should have some time when they don’t have to work, a time for them to spend with families. Another argument that I’ve often heard is that families should spend some time together when they are not at the “souless malls”.
    One Easter it was pouring with rain and my daughter and I went to the movies at the local mall. I had forgotten, until we got there, that the shops would be shut. To my surprise, the movie theatre was still open. So why does the clothing store worker need a day off to spend their their family, but the movie theatre worker doesn’t? And why are my daughter and I not allowed to spend time together trying on clothes and enjoying each other’s company in a giggly, girly way, but we are allowed to sit in a dark movie theatre and completely ignore each other for 90 minutes?
    And why is it important for Wanaka workers to spend time with their families, but it is not important for the Queenstown workers to do the same?
    There seems to be no logical reason for these inconsistencies, and I think they need to be addressed.

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