Easter trading law reform unlikely

Easter trading law reform

An ACT Party bill for Easter trading law reform was doomed before its first reading last Wednesday.

The private member’s bill came from small business spokesman Chris Baillee. It sought to give retailers more choice over whether they operate during the religious holiday.

Baillie said his bill would also look after workers by keeping existing employee protections in respect of Easter Sunday, and extend these protections to Good Friday.

Initially, the Labour-majority government indicated its members would treat the bill as a personal vote.

“We will be opposing the bill,” Robertson said.

“I think there can be a few days in our calendar that focus on spending time with families and not putting pressure on people going out to work.”

Other parties treated the proposal as a “conscience” issue, allowing politicians to make personal votes.

National Party leader Christopher Luxon said he supported the bill. He said it has strong support from the retail sector.

Currently retailers have to close on both Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

A bill needs a majority of the 120 MPs to pass. As Labour has a majority, only bills it supports can pass.

Parliament has had many similar debates about whether strict Easter trading rules should be relaxed.

In 2016 Parliament responded to the Easter trading law reform debate by giving councils the power to create a policy to allow shops to trade on Easter Sunday.


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News category: New Zealand, News Shorts.

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