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Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul

Press release: ACT New Zealand

Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today.

"This weekend thousands of businesses will be closed, liquor sales will be banned, and countless Kiwis will be denied the right to work," said Mr Whyte.

"Retailers are fed up. Consumers are fed up. Yet this nanny-statism continues, without any clear justification.

"Laws that dictate when businesses can and cannot operate are a relic of Muldoonism. In the year 2014, the right to work and trade year-round should be a given.

"Religious reasons for shutting down the country and banning liquor sales are no longer relevant to New Zealand's increasingly diverse society. No one who chooses to refrain from working or shopping is forced to do so.

"Some businesses will ignore the law and open anyway - the state has never enforced these overcomplicated laws consistently. Other businesses who could open legally will close down, unable to afford inflated labour costs.

"Consumers will find themselves in a time-warp, a return to the days of government paternalism.

"If the government insists on robbing the economy of two days of productivity, there ought to be a good reason.

"It's time for a national conversation about our archaic Easter trading laws. ACT will be pushing for an overhaul."

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