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Garden centres law to be introduced for this year

Garden centres law to be introduced for this year

The Minister of Labour, Margaret Wilson will today introduce a bill which would allow garden centres to open on Easter Sunday this year.

Garden centres were able to open until 1990, when they were missed out of legislation passed that year. Efforts to restore trading rights to garden centres over the past decade have been unsuccessful.

Margaret Wilson says the case of the garden centre operators is obviously justified.

"I would like to have gone further, and helped regional tourist centres such as Rotorua and Mt Maunganui with a good argument for opening as well. But that won't be possible this year. I hope to be able to make progress on the wider issues before next Easter.

"In the meantime, there is a consensus among MPs and their parties that garden centres should be allowed to open on Easter Sunday. I will therefore introduce a bill today, and expect it to be read for a first time on Tuesday 3 April, be considered by a select committee on Wednesday 4 April and go through its remaining stages on 5 April.

Margaret Wilson said the issue of shop trading hours was complex.

"For this reason it will always be difficult to make progress, and I am pleased that we have achieved what we have for this year.

"I respect the opinions of those who have deep feelings about the issue, but feel confident the bill will better reflect community attitudes than the present situation. There will be protections for employees built in to the legislation. Working on Easter Sunday will be a matter of employee choice".

ENDS

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