Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Archbishops say no to Easter Sunday Trading

For immediate release June 13, 2006

Hamsters? Or humans?

Anglican Archbishops say no to “liberalisation” of Easter Sunday trading

The Anglican Archbishops in Aotearoa New Zealand have questioned what they call the “false freedom” of open-slather trading on Easter Sunday.

Two bills before the House of Representatives seek to liberalise restrictions on trading on Easter Sunday, thereby bringing the rest of the country into line with the rights given to certain shop owners in tourist destinations such as Queenstown and Taupo.

But the Archbishops, Brown Turei and David Moxon, say the bills are ill-conceived. In the name of “freedom” they will strip away family freedoms and workers’ rights. Furthermore, say the archbishops, the proposed legislation is philosophically flawed.

The Archbishops’ statement follows:

“The market has permeated every aspect of our life. The question that we are faced with, and which Easter Sunday reminds us of, is whether the market ultimately defines who we are, or whether there is any human value that can exist outside the market – values like care for others, compassion for those in need, justice, integrity, hope.

“Are we simply consumers, running like hamsters on a wheel in a marketplace, or is there more to us than this?

“We believe that there is more to life than this. The reality of Easter Sunday shows that who we are as human beings is not ultimately determined by the market place, by wealth, or by economics. No amount of lobbying by a relatively small group of certain business interests is going to change that fact.

“For Christians, Easter Sunday is more than just a public holiday. It’s a day on which we celebrate the way the world is changed forever through the death and life of history’s most significant figure.

“Easter Sunday is not a statutory public holiday, and workers are not adequately protected by employment law. If the proposed legislation is enacted, they will be placed under pressure to work on that day, and to be separated from their families.

“What we require is legislation which represents the interests of all people, not simply the economically and commercially powerful. We believe neither of the proposed changes to the law serve the best interests of most New Zealanders. Neither do they do credit to all we are as human beings.

“The proposed legislation is not about creating a freedom that did not previously exist. It’s about trading in an existing freedom – to have one day of the year free from commercial obligations – to serve the market. It is therefore a false freedom.

“In the Christian story we are brought face to face with a choice which Bob Dylan once observed: Gotta serve somebody. There is no abstention.

Gotta serve somebody.

“Who is that going to be? Under the proposed legislation, the answer appears to be: The next customer at the checkout.”


Eds note:

At its General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui in Christchurch in May 2006, the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia opted for a Shared Primacy, with the leadership of the church shared between the three bishops who lead each tikanga, or cultural stream, within the church.

The three new Archbishops are: The Most Rev Brown Turei (Tikanga Maori); The Most Rev David Moxon (Tikanga Pakeha) and The Most Rev Jabez Bryce (Tikanga Polynesia).

Because the proposed trading legislation concerns New Zealand only, Archbishop Bryce, who is based in Suva, is not a signatory to this statement.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election