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Shop Trading Hours Working Group established

Shop Trading Hours Working Group established

Labour Minister Margaret Wilson has set up a five-person working group to help sort out the inconsistencies in the country’s shop trading hours legislation.

“Currently we have the ridiculous situation which sees tourist areas like Queenstown and Taupo allowed to open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but not Mount Maunganui and Rotoura whose economies are also largely dependent on the tourist dollar.”

Margaret Wilson said in recent years there have been a number of attempts to reform the shop trading hours legislation, including the Shop Trading Hours Act Repeal Act (Abolition of Restrictions) Bill which is currently before the Commerce Select Committee.

The Bill, introduced by Rodney Hide, originally sought to remove all remaining trade restrictions except those applying on Anzac Day morning. Following a majority vote by Parliament in May last year to retain the status quo, the Bill was referred back to the committee for further consideration.

“The working group will provide recommendations to this committee about whether and how to change the current legislation,” Margaret Wilson said.

“It will consider the various options for reform that have been considered by governments from 1990 on, including the Hide Bill and submissions that have previously been made to the select committee.”

The working group will be chaired by Wellington lawyer Peter Chemis. Group members are David Russell of the Consumers’ Institute, New Zealand Retailers Association representative Cliff Daly, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions representative Judy Attenberger (National Distribution Union), and Local Government New Zealand representative, Tauranga District Councillor David Stewart.

The group is expected to convene shortly and is due to report to the select committee, through the Minister, within three months of this first meeting. Administrative support for the group will be provided by the Department of Labour.

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