Trade unionists are thrilled by the defeat of a bill that would have opened up Easter trading laws but Auckland’s Chamber of Commerce says the vote was crazy. Rotorua MP Todd McClay’s member’s bill went down 62-59 on a conscience vote in Parliament last night after he made an impassioned plea for it to at least be sent to a select committee for public submissions.
Mr McClay, a National MP, wanted local authorities to be allowed to decide whether shops in their area should be allowed to open on Easter Sunday, saying Rotorua desperately needed the right to trade on its busiest tourist weekend of the year. He said Easter trading laws were a mess, with Taupo allowed to open while Rotorua, 80km away, wasn’t. “It won’t compel workers anywhere to work on Easter Sunday if they don’t want to,” he said during the first reading debate on his bill.