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Auckland Chamber of Comm.: Allow Easter Trading


20 November 2009


Media Release


Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett today called on all Parties in Parliament to put aside political differences and unite to pass legislation to allow any shop across New Zealand wanting to trade over Easter to do so.


“It is crazy that current laws allow shops in Queenstown and Taupo to open on Easter Sunday but nearby Rotorua and many other cities and towns cannot”.


“It is stupid that in some cities and towns garden centres can open over Easter but hardware stores cannot”.


“And it doesn’t make sense that in some cities and towns such as Wanaka one part of a shopping centre is exempt from Easter trading laws while the rest of the town cannot trade,” said Mr Barnett.


He said the Chamber of Commerce urged all Members of Parliament to give “the strongest possible support” to the Easter Trading Bill of Rotorua MP Todd McClay drawn from the Members Ballot in Parliament yesterday.


Parliament has made 9 attempts to amend the Easter trading laws since the Act came into force in 1990, and each time the situation has been made more confusing and contradictory.


This issue is about freedom of choice, equality and the right of people – shop owners and staff, regular customers and tourists - to decide for themselves what they want to do on Easter Sunday.


“If someone wants to work or shop over Easter – as at any other time – then it should be their decision”.


He called on all MPs to exercise their conscience by applying some common sense logic to support the right of choice when people can shop, and sweep away the huge inequalities in the current laws.


Easter trading is a conscience issue in Parliament and therefore MPs have a free vote when deciding to support Mr McClay’s Bill.


ENDS

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