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Easter trading submissions heard

Jacqui Dean
National Party MP

7 September 2006

Easter trading submissions heard


National MP Jacqui Dean says there is strong cross-party support to finally overcome the anomalies of the Easter trading legislation.

Parliament is considering two bills relating to Easter trading – one from Mrs Dean and one from Labour MP Steve Chadwick.

Mrs Dean today made a submission to the select committee considering her bill.

She says the bill recognises the nature of the tourism and retail environments in communities with a significant visitor industry.

"Tourism is a 365-day-a-year industry. It is one of New Zealand’s largest contributors to both gross domestic product and goods and services tax.

"If enacted, my bill will allow operators to meet the demand of tourists and shoppers over the Easter period.

“It does not override the provisions of the Employment Relations Act or the Holidays Act. Wanaka retailers that I have spoken to say many of their employees are very keen to work over Easter, to take advantage of the enhanced pay rates on the public holiday.

“In Wanaka, at least, willing retailers are selling to willing buyers. There is no compulsion to trade, no compulsion to work, and certainly no compulsion to shop,” says Mrs Dean.

--

Submission to Commerce Select Committee
On
Easter Sunday Shop Trading Amendment Bill
Jacqui Dean

- This bill enables retailers in areas with a significant visitor industry the opportunity to open on Good Friday and/or Easter Sunday

- While the schedule to this bill names only Wanaka and Tauranga,this bill provides for an “opt in” process, where any visitor district can be added to schedule 2, by way of an amendment at select committee stage, or special order paper at the second reading.

- At present only a few visitor districts have an exemption under the Shop Trading Hours Repeal Act 1990 to trade over Easter. This bill seeks to provide a level playing field for all retailers who may want to trade over Easter.


- There also exists a disadvantage within the non-exempted areas such as Wanaka, where some types of retail activity are allowed to trade, but others aren’t. Eg. the Petrol station carries grocery lines and is allowed to trade, yet the supermarket isn’t.

- With the structure of this bill, there is no cost to the Local Authority, and its worth noting that there have been no previous amendments to the shop trading legislation that involve Local Authorities.


- If an area is named on the schedule, retailers in that area then have the choice to open or not. It is entirely their decision; based on location, demand for their product, staffing, and profitability.

- The bill does not override the provisions of the Employment Relations Act or the Holidays act. Wanaka retailers relate that people are very keen to work over Easter, to take advantage of the enhanced pay rates on the public holiday. In Wanaka, many of the retail assistants work part time, and welcome the opportunity to earn extra money.


- In Wanaka at least, willing retailers are selling to willing buyers. There is no compulsion to trade, no compulsion to work, and certainly no compulsion to shop.


Thank you.


ENDS

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