Waitangi Day and Anzac Day should be celebrated with a public holiday on a Monday every year, says the Hospitality Association.
Choosing a Monday each year to commemorate the two historic days was one alternative to the bill for full recognition of Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day that was tossed around by industry leaders and politicians at a select committee at Parliament today.,
Members of the transport and industrial relations select committee heard support, opposition and alternatives to the bill promoted by Labour MP David Clark.
The bill to Mondayise Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day passed its first reading in July by a margin of one.
Only National and ACT opposed it.
Mondayising the two public holidays would mean when they fall in the weekend the Monday immediately after would be treated as a day off.
Hospitality New Zealand legal adviser Alyn Higgins' calls for consistency prompted a proposal to have both Waitangi and ANZAC day celebrated on a Monday in or around the date - in the same way Queens' Birthday and Labour Day operate.
Higgins said it would minimise business interruption if it was a set day each year and would give the public the benefits of a long weekend on both occasions.
National MP Jami-Lee Ross was concerned doing so would lessen the significance of two of
the country's most historic days.
The proposal didn't sit well with Labour MP Darien Fenton either who for the sake of consistency queried whether Christmas Day would fall into the same category.
Higgins drew the line with the festive season but didn't think the proposal would affect the significance of commemorative days.
''I guess that view is possible but we don't really think that would be the case,'' he said.
''At the moment if Waitangi Day falls on Saturday or Sunday it's easy for other weekend activities to compete against observing the day with it's full significance.
''It just depends on each person's approach to the day in question,'' Higgins said.
Aside from the alternative Higgins said a survey of their members showed an even split between supporting and opposing proposed changes.
The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and Tourism Industry Association both support Mondayising.
Speaking in opposition to the amendment today was the Employers and Manufacturers Association, New Zealand Retailers Association and the Meat Industry Association.
''We don't believe the time is right to do this given the tough times businesses are facing,'' Meat Industry Association In-house counsel Nadine King said.
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