Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Don Brash fears long-term damage from Holidays Act

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

20 April, 2004

Don Brash fears long-term damage from Holidays Act

National Party Leader Don Brash has launched a scathing attack on the Holidays Act, describing it as "a step back to the days when New Zealand was closed at the weekend."

"The immediate effect of the legislation was a substantial reduction in employment over Easter. The Restaurant Association stated that about 30% of restaurants and cafes stayed closed over Easter because of the Act, and a further 20% decided to open with fewer staff than usual. The Government has artificially boosted the pay of some workers, at the expense of eliminating the jobs of thousands of others.

"Many fruit growers in Central Otago shut down over Easter, and cherry growers are particularly worried about the Christmas period when cherries must be picked.

"Exporters cannot just put a surcharge on sales. They are price takers, not price makers, in international markets," Dr Brash says. "Even when businesses in the hospitality trade add a surcharge, this inevitably means less custom and thus fewer employment opportunities."

"The consequences of this are only gradually emerging. Our financially struggling health boards are now figuring out the costs to them - after all, hospitals cannot close for business for a day or two, or even an hour or two. Nor can all the support service industries, those who for instance, do cleaning for the disabled, the sick and the elderly.

"There are plenty of other aspects of the Holidays Act that will boost costs to business, and thus reduce job opportunities and reduce incomes.

"None of this is necessary. If we assume that it is being done with the best of intentions, rather than as a sop to Labour's union friends, as it appears, then it is misconceived. It is based on the fantasy that government can simply dial up an income for people," he says.

"It is also based on a public sector, glide-time mentality, typical of a group of ministers who have spent their entire working lives in the public sector. But in the modern economy business is a seven-day-a-week affair, and those businesses are open for more than eight hours a day.

"This Government is putting in place labour laws appropriate to the 1950s public sector, not to a modern economy at the beginning of the 21st century," says Dr Brash.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election