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Easter Sunday

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, March 27th, 2016 - 56 comments
Categories: greens, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

Timely message from The Greens:

56 comments on “Easter Sunday ”

  1. Sabine 1

    my staff is off today, my partner and I are working. WE are in the Easter Business, so can’t really be closed for this day, but in saying that we are also our family, so despite working we are still spending time with family. 🙂 Our Shop Girls however are not working and would not be working regardless of legislation.

    • dv 1.1

      Good for you Sabine.

    • Thinkerr 1.2

      Good for you.

      Time was when that would have been the norm in ‘Godzone’ and to not do so would have attracted criticism.

      Then along came neoliberalism and a kind of ‘Hunger Games’ mentality replaced the spririt of treating others as you would have others treat you.

  2. Foreign waka 2

    And whilst we are at it, why not have New Year at the same time as the Chinese or Ramadan coinciding with Christmas mid year? It is astounding that no other religious festivities have to take such insult as the Christians.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      No other religions have their sacred days written into law as public holidays.

      So, which ones are being persecuted?

      On that note, I don’t think that a secular state should be enforcing religious holidays at all. They should, of course, be ensuring that there are enough breaks and time off throughout the year to help maintain the health of the people.

      • Macro 2.1.1

        I think we can blame the Romans for Christmas, and Easter. They were originally public holidays celebrated for a variety of reasons. Constantine appropriated them – although there is still some dispute regarding that, but eventually they became enshrined in the Roman calendar as feast days and public holidays. Christmas took over the Roman festival of Saturnalia also celebrated on 25 Dec. The variable nature of Easter is related to the Jewish Passover feast which in turn is directly related to the equinox. The easter eggs signify not just a reason to eat chocolate but new birth, also associated with the northern Hemisphere spring.
        Nats are by and large a soulless lot, more concerned with the making of money than anything to do with the human spirit. so they would see no problem in continuing to limit the opportunities for people to revitalise themselves through rest and recreation or even contemplation and reflection. Workers are after all simply units of productive capacity, resources to be used as and when needed, they are not people. That is far too personal.

        • Ad

          And what have the Romans ever done for us?

          • Macro

            All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

            • Andre

              Hey, their wine and water gave us the original cases of mass lead poisonings.

              • Macro

                and plumbers!
                (denoting a person dealing in and working with lead): from Old French plommier, from Latin plumbarius, from plumbum ‘lead’.

                • Incognito

                  The Romans also built many roads of national significance, just like National, and what has National ever done for us?

                  • Thinkerr

                    Sounds like the Romans would have built those 10 bridges up in Northland, though… 🙂

                    Although the Romans were first to bring us Bread and Circuses.

          • AmaKiwi

            “What have the Romans ever done for us?”

            Provided a blueprint for Imperial USA.

  3. adam 3

    What I have never been able to work out, why so many fundamentals think the national party is there friend?

    Liberalism in this extreme form loaths Christianity, and here is just another example

    • Sabine 3.1

      a lot of today’s Christians adhere to the Prosperty Gospel of the Mega Churches, where the only ones making it are the ones that are rich. So if you are poor, it must be your lack of faith and trust in god, and you are being punished accordingly. So go to church, thithe 10% of what you have so that the Pastor can buy a plane or a diamond ring the price of a house for the missus, see they must be God’s darlings, cause clearly they are doing well.

      They are not voting for God, they are voting with their Account ledgers and purses.
      And the last election was a good sign of it, could have voted for the Guy who was going to build houses, and feed the hungry, but instead voted for the guy who promised to punish the slutty single mothers a bit more by cutting benefits, and who would cut taxes in 2017.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        Yeah nah

      • Thinkerr 3.1.2

        Seems to me they are using the psychology of collectivism. There must be a proper term for it, but I don’t know what it is.

        Like, at school, your First XV wins a trophy. Although you aren’t in the First XV, you still feel like a winner.

        At work, the company doubles its profits from last year. You don’t get a bonus, but the CEO tells you it couldn’t have happened without you, and you (are supposed to) go home feeling like a millionaire beacuse the Pastor gets around by helicopter instead of a donkey.

        These so-called Pastors take 10% of money that their flock can often ill-afford, but the congregation are supposed to go home feeling like they are part of something wealthy and important.

        Like if Jesus ate all the loaves and fishes Himself, then told the crowd he gorged Himself for them, too, so they should all feel satisfied and no longer hungry.

        • Thinkerr

          Sorry, I tried to recover from my first edit train-wreck, but tran out of time.

          The bit about the Pastor using a helicopter should have been at the end of the next paragraph.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 3.2

      Power, money and patriarchy and a fear of the secular left.

      Those four things are sufficient.

  4. Foreign waka 4

    This from the Independent UK:

    “Most people in the West would be surprised by the answer to the question: who are the most persecuted people in the world? According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular group with members in 38 states worldwide, 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians.

    The Centre for the Study of Global Christianity in the United States estimates that 100,000 Christians now die every year, targeted because of their faith – that is 11 every hour. The Pew Research Center says that hostility to religion reached a new high in 2012, when Christians faced some form of discrimination in 139 countries, almost three-quarters of the world’s nations.”

    To do away with Christian holidays would be one way of eliminating the faith. Food for thought.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 4.1

      There was a Jewish scholar whose name I cannot recall who was adamant that religious tolerance and religious diversity was necessary for the Jewish faith to survive.

      Once you had anyone stating their religion was the only way he said eventually there will be those who will turn on the Jewish religion.

      As much as I am not religious it’s an important lesson in why religious tolerance is important.

      Those religious leaders who are intolerant of others and other religions lead us down dangerous paths.

      It’s also why the church should be totally separate from the state.

      The state provides through it’s law and authority the tolerance that ultimately religions need.

      The secular nature of the state stops one branch of religious thought taking dominance.

      The creeping of (mainly christian but not only) religion into our education system, the creeping religious moralism of our welfare system, the creeping funding of religious schools, the creeping influence religious groups are having in our political system – these are all things that should be halted.

      • Foreign waka 4.1.1

        If you feel that all religion should be banned from public life you are completely miss the point. It will only be the atheist who are left, some might argue that that’s just fine. Human Nature does not operate on such level and the question then remains: what will fill the void.
        For many people around the world who have experienced persecution for religious and/or political reasons one common denominator stands out: the intolerance towards others and their right of expressing their faith and/or political opinion. If you are not able to do either than intolerance has become the norm.
        “Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths”. – Muhammad Ali

        • Descendant Of Sssmith

          That’s an extremely log bow to draw from

          As much as I am not religious it’s an important lesson in why religious tolerance is important.

          religious tolerance and religious diversity was necessary

          The state provides through it’s law and authority the tolerance that ultimately religions need.

          The secular nature of the state stops one branch of religious thought taking dominance.

          In fact it’s so long a bow it’s not even able to be strung.

          The religious schools in this country were set up in opposition to the secular schools. They received no state funding at all until the 70’s when the numbers attending declined as religion did.

          They have gradually eked there way into state funding, play a large part in encouraging white flight, have parents openly flout the law by lying about raising their children as whatever religion they are supposed to raise their child in, effectively take money away from state schools, have eked their way into state schools through boards of trustees and now are even more annoyingly taking funds through charter schools.

          The other points about the moralistic attitudes creeping into welfare are being driven by religious politicians and we’ve seen religions such as exclusive brethren funding political parties all the while enjoying the benefits of paying no tax and publicly stating they don’t get involved in politics. We’ve seen Destiny Church try to get involved politically and strong links again between the Saudi sheep deal and the brethren.

          Do I think the religious right are influencing these things – absolutely.

          Staying out of public education and government in my opinion is good.

          That’s quite different from say religions shouldn’t have a public face and exist in normal everyday life.

          There were restrictions in the past that have been allowed to creep back in. We’re worse off for it.

          No parent in a state school should have to do this:



        • Thinkerr

          Seems to me that Atheism is as much an act of faith as anything else is.

          They just congregate at trendy cafes instead of churches 🙂

  5. Rosie 5

    Lols. Just phoned MBIE to report Mitre Ten Crofton Downs being open today.

    Automated service:

    “If you are calling about reporting a shop opening on a restricted trading day please press one”

    I press one.

    Automated reply:

    “Welcome to ATS something something video conferencing centre. If you know your PIN please enter it now”

    I phoned back again as perhaps I didn’t press one (?) but no, I did indeed press one. Will have to email the complaint………….

    Garden centres are allowed to open on Easter Sunday. Mitre Ten Crofton Downs has a small garden shop attached to it so maybe they are using that as their excuse for opening……….

    • Ross 5.1


      You can call MBIE on Tuesday. They will be accepting complaints then. Labour Inspectors deserve a day off too. 🙂

      • Rosie 5.1.1

        I’ve emailed them, seeing as their phone system isn’t working and you get sent to the wrong department (which sounds like an internal option for staff needing to attend a video conference).

        In recent years inspectors were working on restricted trading days to monitor shops they were tipped off about, hence my phone call today. Tuesday’s too late. It’s after the fact. And I can’t get through anyway.

        I get that people need a holiday but it’s counter productive when it’s actually MBIE’s role to monitor shops for a breach of the law. Same thing happened recently on the development where I live. A neighbour phoned the council to report that construction work was being undertaken on a public holiday, which is in breach of the developers resource consent. Council said they would send the compliance officer. Council phoned back to say, we can’t send the compliance officer, it’s a public holiday. This has gone for the last few public holidays, the construction noise and disruption and the no show from the council. So the consent has been breached several times but the council is incapable of enforcing the very consent conditions they set down……….

    • Ad 5.2

      Very funny.

  6. Rosie 6

    Yep, thats right Green Party. Out of our 11 annual public holidays, by next year, workers will be down to 2.5 days of mandated public holiday leave thanks to our Nat Govt.

    It’s a lose/lose for both society and workers for a one off gain for retailers.

    Lose for workers because they lose one of only 3.5 days they can spend with family and friends and lose for society as it simply encourages more consumerism, when time can be better spent doing fulfilling and productive activities, again with others.

    How lovely it is to be out and about picnicing, walking and enjoying the relaxed low key atmosphere that is present on a non trading day. The streets are almost free of traffic and everything has a cruisey vibe. This is what it used to be like every Sunday before the 1991 Employment Contracts Act kicked in.

    Now we are just slaves to the boss and slaves to materialism.

  7. Ross 7

    Bear in mind that Easter Sunday is not a public holiday so I can see where employers are coming from. However, Monday is a holiday so maybe we should have that day as restricted trading – 3.5 days of no shopping is a non-story and it gives me the shits when people complain about shops being closed. Some people have got nothing better to do with their time.

  8. Paul Campbell 8

    We forgot to buy extra food yesterday, today the christians have closed all the supermarkets ……. I’m hungry ….. we’re scraping the bottom of the fridge

    Sure everyone should get days off, more holidays for all! but there’s no reason why we should all be forced to take other people’s religious holidays.

    I occasionally visit India for work, the workplaces I hang out in are a glorious mixture of religions – what days you take off depend on your religion, your caste, what state and village you come from – there are NO common religious holidays …. so (in tech businesses anyway) everyone gets a fixed number of personal holidays that they can choose to take whenever they want – why don’t we do that rather than forcing everyone to take the christian ones?

    • dv 8.1

      Yes Paul we had the same problem with cat food and some very hungry cats.

      • Rosie 8.1.1

        Paul and dv. There are exemptions for good reason. Either of you could have gone to the petrol station or the dairy to get emergency supplies.

        I’m worried that your cats have gone without dv……………:(

        • Dv

          Nope went to petrol stn
          Our cats are too demanding
          My comment was tongue in cheek

          • Rosie

            Pleased to hear it dv 🙂

            They may have been forced to lift a paw and hunt otherwise, and you may have been reprimanded for for your shortcomings had dinner not been supplied.

        • Paul Campbell

          Rosie: that’s not the point – I shouldn’t have to change what I eat because of someone else’s religious prohibitions – this isn’t the dark ages – by all means, if you believe in that stuff don’t go to the store on some particular day – but don’t force it on the rest of us.

          As I said above I think we should all have some time we can take off for easter, or xmas, or diwalli, or eid, or purim, or simply because it’s a nice day and we want to go to the beach – but that should be up to individual workers, not their bosses, not the government, and certainly not someone else’s church

          • Rosie

            Sorry to hear you were so deeply inconvenienced by the lawful closure of shops and a workers right to share the SAME day off with anyone from their family or friends. There’s only 3.5 days of the year they get to do that. That could not happen if we were doing it Indian styles like you mention above.

            The religious bit is a non story for me. I’m an atheist. (In your Indian example I would be denied special leave) Yes Easter closing is a religious hangover but so what? We used to close on Sunday until the Employment Contracts Act came into effect in 1991. Sunday closing had it’s roots in religion too, but at least it was a time when workers got a day off.

            These few public holidays just happen to be based in religion. They are important for workers, and they’re a rare opportunity for retail workers to socialise like every else gets to. This about workers rights not religious preference.

            What do you think about shops being closed on the morning of ANZAC day? Tha’ts not a religious holiday.

            • Paul Campbell

              yes but if people were given the current religious holidays (xmas/easter) as days that THEY could nominate rather than days their boss or the government, or someone else’s church decide on, then they could coordinate with their families to have the same days off – here in Dunedin we could choose a day where it was more likely warm and sunny (Feb rather than Dec/April), christians can choose xmas and easter, muslims eid, etc the rest of us can have a nice long family weekend.

              I’m very meh about Anzac day, I’m old enough that I had the shadow of Vietnam and compulsory military service hanging over my teenage years, I have no love for the RSA and those who publicly stated that I should be sent to Vietnam, like they were sent to Egypt and Italy, because it “would build character”, I find the current Anzac holiday more of a fetishising of war by that self same sort of people who wanted me dead.

              Let’s add Anzac day to the list of days that people can choose to take when they want.

              • Rosie

                Thats just really messy and unworkable. We need standard public holidays so workers can plan their lives and employers can plan their rosters. If you have half the workforce saying to their boss “I’m having Easter Sunday off as my elected public holiday” you end up with an employer who can’t run their business half crewed – although some have a pretty good go at doing that anyway.

                I’m not into the glorification of war day that is ANZAC day either but, again, it is a time for workers to at least get the morning off.

                My whole point is the reason for the holiday is irrelevant. The need for retail workers to be treated like the rest of the population for a measly 3.5 days is really important. Their rights trump any argument about religion.

                • Paul Campbell

                  I say screw the bosses – let the workers unconditionally nominate at least some of their holidays, if they don’t have enough people to open the business then hire someone who is willing to work that day, pay them appropriately.

                  It seems to work in India where I’ve experienced it as a solution – work is pretty much empty for diwalli, just like it would be here for xmas, but everyone else gets work done. If 90% of your store is out it might be a mighty fine day to do stock taking, you just work around it as a fact of life

                  There’s no reason for retail workers to be treated any differently than anyone else under this scheme

                  • Rosie

                    Transferring Indian work culture to NZ work culture I can’t see as being a viable thing. You were also talking about the tech industry in India – completely different to retail in terms on public interaction.

                    Agree there shouldn’t be any difference in the way retail workers are treated compared to other workers. But there is, and it’s huge. I know, I’ve been managing retail stores half my working life. And no, you can’t say “screw you boss”. have you tried doing that? How did it go? Retail workers have loose pro boss legislation stacked against them. It’s the kind of unfairness that other workers don’t face. Every one else gets 11 paid public holidays OFF. Retail workers get 3.5 OFF.

                    As I keep saying, we are working when every one else isn’t. We miss out. I get the feeling you want every store open 365 days a year so you don’t have to suffer the inconvenience of having to think too hard about planning your food for a day. Using religion as something to be annoyed about is a pretty flimsy veil for consumerist selfishness.

                    • Paul Campbell

                      Of course I can say “screw you boss”, he’s a bastard, I’m self employed … but really I think that if you legislate this as a worker’s right then the bosses have to comply.

                      BTW because I consult for customers in the US and the time/date difference I get few of those days off either.

                      I’m not suggesting that we take all of Indian work culture, just this one thing that seems to me to be the only fair way to handle religious holidays (well except for how they do in in the US where due to the 1st amendment they don’t have legal holidays like easter). If you want to give people religious holidays you have to give them fairly to people of all, or no, religions.

                      Un der this scheme if a business wants to be open on a common holiday they’re going to have to pay more people more to come to work – not every business will choose to do so I don’t have a problem with companies choosing either – but employees get to choose the holidays that are important for them – YOU don’t get to force your muslim co workers to work on eid, or the pastafarians on pastover

                    • Rosie

                      Paul, I’m over this conversation. It’s not about religion. We are a secular country. We have some religious based holidays as a throw back to our Christian mono culture days. So what.

                      If you work with US based clients you may have noticed in their culture they are quite uptight about religion so in order to keep the peace they will resort to blanket bans on legislated religious holidays. Those guys have guns, so it’s probably a good idea.

                      Again, we are not in America, nor are we in India.

                      If you want to see the continued erosion of work rights, which you’ve made clear you do, just keep on voting National. Just stop pretending it’s about religion.

                    • Paul Campbell

                      Rosie – I have never once voted National (or for anyone on the right) in my life

    • Foreign waka 8.2

      …today the Christians have closed all supermarkets…. ??? What a snotty comment really.

      • Paul Campbell 8.2.1

        well it’s not the athiests who have done it, nor the pastafarians – the supermarkets are closed because the christians decreed it should be slow back in the dark old days before we had a bill of rights that supposedly banned this sort of state promoted religious discrimination

        • Foreign waka

          OMG – the ignorance is breathtaking. So uneducated that it almost hurts.

    • joe90 8.3

      Yeah, Good Friday was a bit of a bugger too, damn beer shops were closed.

    • Gabby 8.4

      Why weren’t you working?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.5

      So, you knew that he shops were going to be closed but failed to stock up? And now you’re whinging about the Xians?

      Yeah, sounds like someone not taking personal responsibility.

      Now, I don’t support religious holidays but I do support mandated long weekends. Four of them per year in fact. One would coincidentally fall upon Easter.

      On top of that there would be six weeks of annual leave that could be taken at any time during the year as well as the other state holidays.

  9. Wainwright 9

    Easter Sunday is doomed. Andrew Little supports shops opening.

    Yes the usual talk about ‘reasonable’ or ‘genuine’ opt-out provisions but you’d think a union lawyer would understand that there’s a power differentail between staff and employers.Reckon the Talley’s would allow workers to “genuinely’ opt-out?

    • Rosie 9.1

      That’s incredibly disappointing reading.

      Yep, the opt out clause would be bollocks. There is no way employers will respect this. Maxine Gaye from First Union made an excellent point on newshrub in regard to the proposed opt out clause. It has been suggested that an employee could pursue a personal grievance if their employer forced them to work on Easter Sunday. Her response was that unionised workers can take a PG for free, but any non union worker would be looking at $7 – 10K. Who’s going to do that?

      It’s retail and hospitality workers that are affected by Easter trading law changes. This is largely minimum and slightly above minimum wage work. This isn’t a spare $10K sitting around to take a legal case with.

      • Wainwright 9.1.1

        Labour doesn’t care about minimum wage workers. It assumes theyll all vote Labour anyway. Little is all about appelaing to “small business” who’ll never vote red anyway. Very weird.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Michael Cullen raised the minimum wage nine times in nine years. Unemployment fell to the lowest level since 1974. The “ten big ideas” will impact directly on low-waged workers.

          • Wainwright

            Michael Cullen is long gone, what are Labour doing now? Dodging the important questions, trapped in terminal management speak and offering up one of the last true public holidays we have as a sacrifice to big business..

        • Rosie

          On the other hand, in the 2014 campaign Cunliffe promised to raise the minimum wage to $16 by xmas after the election, then raise it again in April the following year. It would have been a meaningful and totally helpful big raise.

          Cunliffe appealed directly to minimum wage workers. They could have voted themselves a hefty pay rise.

          But they didn’t.

          I’m having some conflicting feelings about the positivity and hope addressed in the 10 big ideas, especially UBI and 3 years free tertiary education BUT, BUT, I am still having trouble with Little’s statement around retaining the 90 day act and just “tweaking it” and this latest thing where he appears to supporting retail workers losing time with their friends and family.

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