Tourism boss calls for Easter trading revamp

closed signThere are fresh calls for a united national approach to Easter Sunday trading laws – this time from the tourism sector.

In its submission to the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIANZ) says liberalising Easter trading legislation will benefit both the tourism industry and local economies.

CEO Chris Roberts says in the submission that shops should be allowed to trade on Easter Sunday – and trading laws should be set nationally, not by regional local government.

“Our visitors move quickly between regions and finding shops open in some places and not others does not create the seamless experience that visitors are looking for and that the tourism industry wishes to deliver,” he wrote.

“We do not want to see 67 councils given the power to make 67 bylaws about Easter trading. A national approach will provide certainty for everyone.”

He says allowing councils to set their own rules will lead to “a patchwork of confusing and inconsistent rules”.

Roberts says many members of TIANZ want to make their own decision to open or not – especially when there are major events in their area – such as the Warbirds over Wanaka airshow.

“These events can attract thousands of visitors but current legislation means they cannot visit local shops, depriving the business community of the benefits of these events,” he concluded.

TIANZ says it supports the provisions in the Bill to protect any workers who do not wish to work on Easter Sunday.

Roberts said that the removal of trading restrictions on Easter Sunday would help achieve the industry’s Tourism 2025 revenue target of $41 billion over the next 10 years.

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