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Prebble Angry That Shop Trading Bill Ignored

Prebble Angry That Shop Trading Bill Ignored By Committee

Parliament’s Commerce Select Committee is being taken to task by ACT for failing to do any work on a Bill to clean up the country’s shop trading laws that currently penalise retailers for opening on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

A year ago Parliament voted to send ACT MP Patricia Schnauer’s Shop Trading Hours (Abolition of Restrictions) Bill to the Justice and Law Reform Select Committee for scrutiny. 156 submissions had been received on the Bill when submissions closed on July 2 last year.

ACT Leader Richard Prebble said the Bill, that would allow shop owners to open every day of the year except ANZAC day morning,was transferred to the Commerce Select Committee at the start of the new Parliament. But, the Committee has done nothing on the Bill since then.

“The Committee was well aware of the frustrations and enormous cost to retailers every Easter they are forced to close their doors to customers. Because of the Committee’s failure to even hear the submissions on the Bill, retailers are again this Easter being unfairly penalised and discriminated against just for wanting to serve their customers.

“I share the anger of retailers who have waited a year just to have their submissions heard. For shop owners like those in Mt Maunganui who have been fighting for a decade to have the law cleaned up, the Committee’s decision to ignore their plight is inexcusable. Their hopes are pinned on this commonsense Bill.

The Committee’s failure get to work on this Bill and get it passed will cost shop owners and taxpayers again this year as the Labour Department tries to police and prosecute those who open against the law.

Richard Prebble has today written to Commerce Select Committee Chairman David Cunliffe demanding answers over why the Bill has been left to languish and saying that the Bill must be made an urgent priority. “ACT is pressing for an urgent hearing on this Bill,” he said.

Mr Prebble said he is also concerned that the problems with Easter Shop Trading have this year spread to wineries in areas like Martinborough and Marlborough who are being force to close their doors because of anomalies in the new liquor licensing laws passed last year.

“The Government can’t keep these regions closed when record numbers of holiday makers are flocking there to sample their products. Labour and the Alliance must assure wineries that there will not be a repeat of this ridiculous situation next year,” said Richard Prebble.

The Shop Trading Hours (repeal of restrictions) Bill has been taken over by ACT MP Rodney Hide. Richard Prebble’s letter to David Cunliffe is attached.

ENDS

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