Parliament has failed tourist towns
Newmarket Business Association
8.50pm, Wednesday 9 December 2009
Parliament has failed tourist towns when they needed it most
The head of the Newmarket Business Association and Auckland’s leading shopping is disappointed the Parliament has tonight voted down Rotorua MP Todd McClay’s private members’ bill on Easter trading.
“Easter trading will continue to be a headache as parliament refused to confront the raft of outdated laws, anomalies, and historic exemptions,” says Cameron Brewer, chief executive of the Newmarket Business Association.
“This bill was not about blanket liberalisation of shop trading hours as most New Zealanders and retailers don’t actually want shops open on Easter Sunday. Rather, this was about empowering local communities such as tourist towns like Rotorua to make up their own minds about opening. Because this bill has failed, Rotorua will be closed next Easter Sunday yet Taupo can open. It’s silly stuff.
“There also remain silly anomalies that see the likes of Parnell being allowed to trade on Easter Sunday because it has got an historic exemption. What’s more it’s bizarre that since 2001 garden centres can open on Easter Sunday, but hardware stores can’t.
“Parliament has had 19 years and 10 attempts to fix these issues but sadly the mess remains. This coming Easter Department of Labour officers will be fining Wanaka retailers but not Queenstown ones. It remains a complete circus,” says Cameron Brewer.