Parliament is currently considering legislation that would allow local councils to decide whether shops stay open on Easter Sunday within their boundaries or within smaller, specific areas.
But at a meeting on Wednesday, many Wellington city councillors saw this as little more than the Government getting local councils to pass laws it did not have “the intestinal fortitude” to pass itself.
Councillors were concerned that if each city and town was setting its own rules then the public would get confused, particularly since many people travel over Easter.
Deputy Mayor Justin Lester said it was the same script the Government had followed on issues like fluoridation, psychoactive substances and opening hours for bars. If it could not decide on a national approach then it would get councils to make the call.
Councillor Andy Foster said getting every council in the country to pass their own Easter trading bylaw would unnecessarily soak up time and ratepayers’ money.
“The Government, yet again, has ducked one of these moral-type issues … the Government has basically said, ‘here’s a hospital pass, councils’.”