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Laws for enforcing not trading off

Laws for enforcing not trading off

The idea that a Government department can give a nod and a wink to traders that it won’t enforce shop trading laws and for a Government MP to then claim it as grounds for a review of the law is another act of third world shonkiness from National, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour issues Andrew Little says.

Retailers in Wanaka are reported to have traded throughout the Easter break in breach of shop trading laws following a tip-off that no action would be taken if they opened for business to take advantage of the crowds attending the Warbirds Over Wanaka air show.

“Reports from Wanaka and other parts of the country make it clear the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has just given up enforcing the relevant legislation. It doesn’t look like there will be a single prosecution from the weekend from anywhere in the country.

“Parliament passes laws and allocates resources to enforce them where that is required.

“So, on what basis did the Ministry decide it just wouldn’t enforce the law, and give a signal that the law could be openly flouted? Which Minister told them this was acceptable?

“Why didn’t a Minister have the courage to bring a Bill to Parliament well before Easter weekend so the issue could be debated openly and transparently rather than slithering around telling government departments they should just not do their job? What law will the Government decide next shouldn’t be enforced as a matter of commercial expediency?

“One of the reasons New Zealand ranks so highly in measures of anti-corruption is because of our adherence to the rule of law, but what happened in this case makes a mockery of that and opens the way for corrupt practices.

“New Zealand already has some of the most liberal shop trading laws in the world and we lack some important protections for workers. It is vitally important that when laws are in place to provide protection, the relevant agencies actually do their job.

“This is yet another example of the National Government allowing commercial imperatives to be used as an excuse to abandon due process and the rule of law.”

Ends

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