Retail NZ has urged all members of Parliament to vote through the first reading of the Easter trading bill in order to open up debate on the issue.
The Repeal of Good Friday and Easter Sunday as Restricted Trading Days (Shop Trading and Sale of Alcohol) Amendment Bill has been introduced by ACT MP Chris Bailie. If it becomes law it would remove decision-making on local Easter trading hours from local bodies, leaving retailers to decide themselves.
The retail lobby group wants to debate the merits of the bill through the Select Committee process as current regulations of decision-making by local councils do not work.
Retail NZ CEO, Greg Harford, said businesses should have the right to choose whether to stay open or closed over Easter while also protecting the rights of their workers.
“We still have the main economic centres not having made the move to enable this choice. Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and 21 other councils have not enabled what others have around the country.
“Easter trading is working well in provincial towns and cities, and it’s disappointing that our big city councils and economic powerhouses aren’t allowing businesses to make the choice, taking account of worker and customer demand.”
He added many retailers in major CBDs are still struggling to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and they should have a choice in trading operations.