web analytics

Easter trading defeated (again)

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, December 10th, 2009 - 10 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags: , ,

A victory for New Zealand’s 270,000 retail workers and their families last night, with Parliament voting 62-59 to reject National MP Todd McClay’s Easter Sunday trading bill.

This debate has never been about observing a religious holiday as the neoliberals try to paint it, it’s about recognising that there should be times during the year when family and friends are able to get together without being forced to work. It’s about beating back the encroachment of capitalism into family life.

Don’t give me this crap about the individual freedom of workers either. It’s not workers demanding this law change, it’s business, and there’s a good reason for that.

Individual workers simply don’t have the bargaining power to demand time off to spend with family if our bosses demand we show up to work. We don’t want the false freedom to be forced to work by our employers, we want the freedom to earn a decent living with time off to spend with our loved ones.

Margaret Dornan, a shop worker at Farmers and the vice-president of the NDU, puts it well:

‘You’ve only got 3 and 1/2 days a year when shops aren’t open. Speaking to other retail workers yesterday about this issue, they all asked when they were supposed to get some time off with their family, if shops opened over Easter.’

I also don’t buy the argument that because Taupo can open other centres should be allowed to open as well. If anything this just shows the folly of regional exemptions. The world won’t end because tourists can’t go shopping on Easter Sunday. It won’t stop them coming to New Zealand and it won’t send businesses to the wall. Believe it or not, the countries these tourists come here from have days when the shops close down, and they have a lot more of those days than we do.

In fact New Zealand has some of the most liberalised shop opening hours in the world. We can shop 361 and half days a year, 24 hours a day including 51 out of 52 Sundays and every public holiday except Good Friday, Christmas Day and until midday on Anzac Day.

The idea that these last few bastions of family time should be given over to the demands of commerce is just capitalism gone mad. Commerce exists to serve us, not the other way around. You’d think that after seven failed attempts to roll back Easter since 1996 they would have learned their lesson. Let’s hope this time’s the last.

[Labour’s Grant Robertson has the voting breakdown here. The bill was supported by most National MPs, all ACT MPs, Peter Dunne, one Labour MP (Steve Chadwick) and three Maori Party MPs (Turia, Sharples and Flavell – shame). The bill was opposed by all Labour MPs bar Chadwick, all Green MPs, Jim Anderton, eight National MPs and the Maori Party’s Rahui Katene. Hone didn’t vote as he’s still banished from Parliament.]

10 comments on “Easter trading defeated (again) ”

  1. toad 1

    How about making Easter Sunday a public holiday so that workers who already are required to work it at least get a day in lieu to spend with their families.

  2. randal 2

    hooray.
    felt sorry for mclay having to put this lead balloon up.
    like it or not we are a christian country and that means we observe the ancient rituals of our people to propitiate our gods.
    being a pagan at heart but converted to christianity in another life I still need to look into the abyss of meaningless and justify my futile existence.
    hehehehehehehe.

  3. Bored 3

    “I also don’t buy the argument that because Taupo can open other centres should be allowed to open as well.”

    Relax, geologically speaking this is a self correcting thing (every two thousand years or so).

  4. Lanthanide 4

    Someone posted in the Red Alert comments that lower-paid workers may actually want to work on the Easter days, so as to earn extra money.

    I can see that sentiment, so I think a nice middle-ground could be struck – special status for Easter Friday/Sunday as being paid at 3x wages, + 1 day in lieu for those who work. Presently public holidays are just 1.5x wages + 1 day in lieu. This would mean then even if your boss did force you to work, at least you’d get some real benefit from it. It also means that the bosses can really reflect on what opening on these days really costs, and whether they think they can turn a profit while doing so.

  5. dave 5

    Toad, couldn’t agree more. Now, can you organise a members bill to that effect, I’;m too busy at the moment.

  6. toad 6

    Posted by Nat MP Katrina Shanks on The Blog That Shall Not Be Named:

    I was one of the few National MPs who voted against the bill.

    I did so for the following reasons. Family time is a precious commodity these days and continual pressure on retailers to open longer hours, has IMO already seriously eroded the time working parents can spend with their children.

    As a mother of three young children myself and an MP, I am acutely aware of the stresses and strains that long working hours can have on family life.

    There are currently only three and a half days when New Zealanders are unable to shop, Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day morning. These days reflect the special character of our society. Ensuring that they remain “commerce free’ is I believe an important step in helping to strengthen family relationships.

    I have had a number of emails to my office this morning thanking me for my “independence over this issue’ and for taking a “good sense and family-minded stance’

    By the way I note that Ohariu’s Peter Dunne voted for Easter Sunday trading while Labour’s Charles Chauvel, also based in Ohariu voted for against it.

    Guess that’s her chances of ever becoming a Minister down the gurgler – insufficient commitment to unrestrained capitalism.

    [lprent: Why can’t you name it? Kiwiblog has been a well-discussed issue here for a long time. He may spend a lot of time dog-whistling, being naive (especially when it is science or maths), and is frequently just boring (bloody holiday pix). But at least he doesn’t just make crap up and try and pass it off as fact. ]

  7. Camden Whelk 7

    So a vote against Easter Trading is a vote for Family Values.

    • prism 7.1

      Don’t knock families – without them where would we be? To make one takes a short time, to grow one takes a life time (and time is the important word here).

  8. randal 8

    it is a vote for our national religion which is christianity.
    not the wonky sort but the chrisitianity that has brought us here after 2,000 years and is far too precious to be given away to some crummy little retailers in a tourist trap because they have no spiritual values of their own.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Over half of border workforce receive first vaccinations
    More than half of New Zealand’s estimated 12,000 border workforce have now received their first vaccinations, as a third batch of vaccines arrive in the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. As of midnight Tuesday, a total of 9,431 people had received their first doses. More than 70 percent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Next stage of COVID-19 support for business and workers
    The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend. Following two new community cases of COVID-19, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Govt committed to hosting Rugby World Cup
    The Government remains committed to hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 should a decision be made by World Rugby this weekend to postpone this year’s tournament. World Rugby is recommending the event be postponed until next year due to COVID-19, with a final decision to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Support Available for Communities affected by COVID-19
    Community and social service support providers have again swung into action to help people and families affected by the current COVID-19 alert levels. “The Government recognises that in many instances social service, community, iwi and Whānau Ora organisations are best placed to provide vital support to the communities impacted by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt announces review into PHARMAC
    The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The Review will focus on two areas: How well PHARMAC performs against its current objectives and whether and how its performance against these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Impressive response to DOC scholarship programme
    Some of the country’s most forward-thinking early-career conservationists are among recipients of a new scholarship aimed at supporting a new generation of biodiversity champions, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. The Department of Conservation (DOC) has awarded one-year postgraduate research scholarships of $15,000 to ten Masters students in the natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to ANZLF Virtual Indigenous Business Trade and Connections Event
    I acknowledge our whānau overseas, joining us from Te Whenua Moemoeā, and I wish to pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you all today. I am very pleased to be part of the conversation on Indigenous business, and part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Main benefits to increase in line with wages
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today that main benefits will increase by 3.1 percent on 1 April, in line with the rise in the average wage. The Government announced changes to the annual adjustment of main benefits in Budget 2019, indexing main benefit increases to the average ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Maru (Taranaki)
    A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Ngāti Maru and the Crown settling the iwi’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The Ngāti Maru rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley, east to the Whanganui River and its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Support in place for people connected to Auckland COVID-19 cases
    With a suite of Government income support packages available, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni is encouraging people, and businesses, connected to the recent Auckland COVID-19 cases to check the Work and Income website if they’ve been impacted by the need to self-isolate. “If you are required to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on passing of former PNG PM Sir Michael Somare
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her condolences at the passing of long-serving former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. “Our thoughts are with Lady Veronica Somare and family, Prime Minister James Marape and the people of Papua New Guinea during this time of great ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the National Māori Housing Conference 2021
    E te tī, e te tā  Tēnei te mihi maioha ki a koutou  Ki te whenua e takoto nei  Ki te rangi e tū iho nei  Ki a tātou e tau nei  Tēnā tātou.  It’s great to be with you today, along with some of the ministerial housing team; Hon Peeni Henare, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Drone project to aid protection of Māui dolphin
    The Government is backing a new project to use drone technology to transform our understanding and protection of the Māui dolphin, Aotearoa’s most endangered dolphin.    “The project is just one part of the Government’s plan to save the Māui dolphin. We are committed to protecting this treasure,” Oceans and Fisheries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New water regulator board announced as major Government reform moves forward
    Major water reform has taken a step closer with the appointment of the inaugural board of the Taumata Arowai water services regulator, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. Former Director General of Health and respected public health specialist Dame Karen Poutasi will chair the inaugural board of Crown agency Taumata Arowai. “Dame ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • North Auckland gets public transport upgrade
    The newly completed Hibiscus Coast Bus Station will help people make better transport choices to help ease congestion and benefit the environment, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said today. Michael Wood and Phil Goff officially opened the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station which sits just off the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting work to protect Northland reserve
    New funding announced by Conservation Minister Kiri Allan today will provide work and help protect the unique values of Northland’s Te Ārai Nature Reserve for future generations. Te Ārai is culturally important to Te Aupōuri as the last resting place of the spirits before they depart to Te Rerenga Wairua. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Critical step to new housing deal for Pacific communities
      Today the Government has taken a key step to support Pacific people to becoming Community Housing providers, says the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This will be great news for Pacific communities with the decision to provide Pacific Financial Capability Grant funding and a tender process to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Consultation opens on proposed Bay of Islands marine mammal sanctuary
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on a proposed marine mammal sanctuary to address the rapid decline of bottlenose dolphins in Te Pēwhairangi, the Bay of Islands. The proposal, developed jointly with Ngā Hapū o te Pēwhairangi, would protect all marine mammals of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Three District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.    Two of the appointees will take up their roles on 1 April, replacing sitting Judges who have reached retirement age.     Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access
    Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access The Government changed the KiwiSaver rules in 2019 so people with life-shortening congenital conditions can withdraw their savings early The four conditions guaranteed early access are – down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder An alternative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Reserve Bank to take account of housing in decision making
    The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into account government policy relating to more sustainable house prices, while working ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Investment to reduce cochlear implant waitlist
    The Labour Government will invest $6 million for 70 additional adult cochlear implants this year to significantly reduce the historical waitlist, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Cochlear implants are life changing for kiwis who suffer from severe hearing loss. As well as improving an individual’s hearing, they open doors to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Māori wards Bill passes third reading
    The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill passed its third reading today and will become law, Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. “This is a significant step forward for Māori representation in local government. We know how important it is to have diversity around ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers 1,000 more transitional housing places
    The Government has added 1,000 more transitional housing places as promised under the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (HAP), launched one year ago. Minister of Housing Megan Woods says the milestone supports the Government’s priority to ensure every New Zealander has warm, dry, secure housing. “Transitional housing provides people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech doses arrives safely – as the first vaccinations take place in the...
    A second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday at Auckland International Airport, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “This shipment contained about 76,000 doses, and follows our first shipment of 60,000 doses that arrived last week. We expect further shipments of vaccine over the coming weeks,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $18 million for creative spaces to make arts more accessible
    The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces. Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little today welcomed Moriori to Parliament to witness the first reading of the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill. “This bill is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from all the parties involved. “I am delighted to reach this significant milestone today,” Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government action reduces child poverty
    22,400 fewer children experiencing material hardship 45,400 fewer children in low income households on after-housing costs measure After-housing costs target achieved a year ahead of schedule Government action has seen child poverty reduce against all nine official measures compared to the baseline year, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Entries open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
    It’s time to recognise the outstanding work early learning services, kōhanga reo, schools and kura do to support children and young people to succeed, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says. The 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are now open through until April 16. “The past year has reminded us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature benefits three projects
    Three new Jobs for Nature projects will help nature thrive in the Bay of Plenty and keep local people in work says Conservation Minister Kiri Allan. “Up to 30 people will be employed in the projects, which are aimed at boosting local conservation efforts, enhancing some of the region’s most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improvements to the Holidays Act on the way
    The Government has accepted all of the Holidays Act Taskforce’s recommended changes, which will provide certainty to employers and help employees receive their leave entitlements, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood said the Government established the Holidays Act Taskforce to help address challenges with the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ’s credit rating lifted as economy recovers
    The Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and faster than expected economic recovery has been acknowledged in today’s credit rating upgrade. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) today raised New Zealand’s local currency credit rating to AAA with a stable outlook. This follows Fitch reaffirming its AA+ rating last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to National Remembrance Service on the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake
    Tena koutou e nga Maata Waka Ngai Tuahuriri, Ngai Tahu whanui, Tena koutou. Nau mai whakatau mai ki tenei ra maumahara i te Ru Whenua Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga ora ki te hunga ora Tena koutou, Tena ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government reaffirms urgent commitment to ban harmful conversion practices
    The Minister of Justice has reaffirmed the Government’s urgent commitment, as stated in its 2020 Election Manifesto, to ban conversion practices in New Zealand by this time next year. “The Government has work underway to develop policy which will bring legislation to Parliament by the middle of this year and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New creative service aims to benefit 1,000 peoples’ careers
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni today launched a new Creative Careers Service, which is expected to support up to 1,000 creatives, across three regions over the next two years. The new service builds on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honey exporters busy meeting surging demand
    Overseas consumers eager for natural products in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic have helped boost honey export revenue by 20 percent to $425 million in the year to June 30, 2020, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says.   “The results from the latest Ministry for Primary Industries’ 2020 Apiculture Monitoring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers more wellbeing support for young people
    Thanks to more than $10-million in new services from the Government, more rangatahi will be able to access mental health and addiction support in their community. Minister of Health Andrew Little made the announcement today while visiting Odyssey House Christchurch and acknowledged that significant events like the devastating earthquakes ten ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government eases visa restrictions for visitors in New Zealand
    Two month automatic visitor visa extension for most visitor visa holders Temporary waiver of time spent in New Zealand rule for visitor stays Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Minister of Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Push for sustainable tourism gathers pace
    The Tourism and Conservation Ministers say today’s report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) adds to calls to overhaul the tourism model that existed prior to COVID19. “The PCE tourism report joins a chorus of analysis which has established that previous settings, which prioritised volume over value, are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government extends dietary supplements regulations
    The Government is providing certainty for the dietary supplements industry as we work to overhaul the rules governing the products, Minister for Food Safety Dr Ayesha Verrall said. Dietary supplements are health and wellness products taken orally to supplement a traditional diet. Some examples include vitamin and mineral supplements, echinacea, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago