Yet another attempt is being made to liberalise Easter trading laws. But this time it is through a government bill, and unlike every other vote on Easter trading, the National government is not allowing a conscience vote to its MPs.
Of course, this is not the first time that John Key’s National – the so-called party of ‘choice’ – has denied a conscience vote to its MPs on traditional conscience vote issues. Remember the anti-smacking law, the subsequent bill to decriminalise light smacking, the Sky City bill, and the ban on street prostitution bill earlier this year?
The Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill will allow local councils to create bylaws that allow shop trading on Easter Sunday. Family First NZ is opposing the proposal. We also question how long before Good Friday, Christmas and Anzac days are also liberalised, based on the reasoning being used in this Bill.
Full details are HERE
Make a Submission HERE (bottom of page)
READ Family First’s Submission (feel free to use this as a starting point for your Submission).
The closing date for submissions is Thursday 21 January 2016
The government needs to understand that a focus on economic improvement should never come at the cost of weakening the quality and special time that families can spend together. Anzac Day, Easter, and Christmas remain as one of the few times when the whole country stops and takes a break. Public holidays are traditions. They create rituals for families, not based on shopping but on celebrating together, reconnecting, and making memories. Coercion on employees to work will be strong. Tourists will cope. Many countries have public holidays with shops closed, and tourists simply plan around it, accepting it as part of the local culture and identity. We should keep the Easter culture! New Zealanders love visiting Pacific Island nations and still manage to enjoy themselves even when everything shuts down on a Sunday. Towns do have every right to feel peeved that neighbouring towns can stay open when they can’t. The law needs to be consistent and enforced.