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Update on Easter trading consultation

20 March 2008 Media Statement

Update on Easter trading consultation

The Easter Trading and Holidays Legislation discussion document released in November 2007 has since received widespread consultation and a summary of submissions is now available on

The discussion document proposed a number of options for possible change in key areas including:
• what should happen with the status of Easter Sunday
• whether the enforceability and penalty regime for the Shop Trading Hours Act Repeal Act 1990 needed amendment,
• the issue of adequate employee/leaseholder protections against the compulsion to work/trade on Easter Sunday.

"The 4000-plus submissions (of which were 107 were very detailed submissions) received on this document do not reach a consensus and in fact opinions are quite polarised.

"Given the wide ranging views reflected in submissions, New Zealanders clearly do not have a common view about how we should recognise the significance of the four-day Easter weekend and especially Easter Sunday.

"Because of this total lack of consensus, I have indicated to colleagues that I will not introduce legislation on this issue. I note also that the Easter trading issue has usually been treated as a conscience vote in Parliament – meaning MPs are not whipped into a party position and do not vote along party lines."

The sale of liquor issues that were also covered by the discussion document and public consultation remain under consideration by Associate Justice Minister Lianne Dalziel.


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