It’s now over to councils to decide whether shops can open on Easter Sunday after controversial legislation passed into law amidst heated debate.
That is despite public calls from New Zealand sporting greats David Tua and Michael Jones for Pacific MPs to oppose the change.
Tua flew to Wellington to speak to media shortly before the final vote, flanked by Labour’s Pacific MPs.
“I think Easter Sunday needs to be protected. As a young boy growing up in South Auckland Easter Sunday, you looked forward to it – to spending it with your family, you go to church, and you have a good lunch,” Tua said.
National’s Pacific MPs needed to be “courageous” and defy their party and vote down the law change “for our families”, the boxer said.
Last week rugby great Michael Jones – a devout Christian who has links to the National Party – also went public with a similar call.
However, all National Party members voted for the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, which will allow councils to pass bylaws to allow trading on Easter Sunday and passed its third and final reading by 62 to 59 personal votes today.
Such bills are traditionally a conscience vote for MPs, but National MPs voted together for change.
READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11700444
Council to decide on Easter Sunday trading
Gisborne Herald 27 August 2016
GISBORNE business groups are giving broad support to new laws that open the door for shops to trade legally on Easter Sunday. The Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill — which allows councils to allow trading to take place on Easter Sunday — passed its third reading in Parliament this week.
Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon said while he supported the ability for retailers to trade on Easter Sunday, he pointed out no decision would be made without full public consultation.
Family groups and churches have expressed concern over the changes.
Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said that the justification for liberalising Easter trading laws would be used as justification for changing the laws around Christmas Day, Anzac Day morning, and Good Friday trading laws.
READ MORE: http://gisborneherald.co.nz/localnews/2442162-135/council-to-decide-on-easter-sunday
Easter trading: ‘Considerable costs and complexities’
Radio NZ 28 August 2016
Deciding what to do with the Easter trading laws is going to be a huge headache for Auckland Council, a mayoralty candidate says.
The government has voted to let individual councils decide if shops in their region should open on Easter Sunday.
The country’s Easter trading laws have been a source of great frustration for many, with some tourist centres being allowed to trade, and others not.
Auckland mayoral candidate Mark Thomas said the government should have made a decision for the whole country, as now councils had to go through consultation, which cost time and money.
“Auckland is now faced with considerable costs and complexities working out to apply that to the large area that we cover. I understand the idea of having it fit rural or provincial centres, but with Auckland I think a special case could have been applied because of our size and complexity.
“I think it’s highly likely the Council would have to spilt the region up. I’ve been involved in the local alcohol policy that is still going through legal contest, which indicates how complex and difficult it is when you take these issues and try and fight them into a one-size-fits-all approach in a city the size of Auckland,” Mr Thomas said.
He said the decision for shops to open on Easter Sunday needed to be made by the community.
READ MORE: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/311974/easter-trading-‘considerable-costs-and-complexities’