Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill
This bill proposes to amend the Shop Trading Hours Act Repeal Act 1990 to grant territorial authorities a limited power to create bylaws that allow shop trading on Easter Sunday, and enable shop workers to refuse work on Easter Sunday.
The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 21 January 2016
READ Family First Submission
Family First NZ is opposing the proposal by the government to liberalise Easter trading laws to allow Easter Sunday trading.
We also question how long before Good Friday, Christmas and Anzac days are also liberalised.
It is also concerning that National are refusing to allow a conscience vote on an issue which has always been very contentious and that individual politicians from all parties have held wide-ranging views.
We reject any liberalisation of Easter trading laws because workers deserve this special annual break to spend time with their families. The government doesn’t seem 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. Poll after poll has shown that both parents and children want to spend more time doing family things like picnics and holidays together. However, this is becoming increasingly difficult as the retail industry is required to work almost every day of the year, and shoppers focus on the holiday specials.
To argue that it is justified because shoppers are able to shop online is a flawed argument. If it was a valid argument, retailers in NZ would have to be open 24/7,
This is also not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers, they don’t have the luxury of choice as to whether they work or not, even if it is suggested that they can refuse. Coercion 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. 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.