Dean to continue fight for Easter trading despite defeat
Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has vowed to continue the fight to allow businesses in the electorate to trade at Easter, despite her latest attempt being defeated in Parliament.
Ms Dean's bill to allow shops to open on Easter Sunday was voted down in Parliament for the second time on Wednesday, with 70 votes against the bill and 49 votes in favour.
Dean, who has been on a crusade during the past six years to have the bill passed, said she would not take the bill back to the house because there was nothing she could do from a political position to have the law amended.
"It's clear to me Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First aren't going to support modernisation of trading laws," she said.
There are three and a half days when almost all shops are required to be closed under the Shop Trading Hours Repeal Act 1990 – Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day until 1pm.
However, dairies, petrol stations and pharmacies could open and Queenstown and Rotorua businesses were exempt because they were in tourist areas.
Ms Dean said once she was finished licking her wounds she would meet with business owners and Chamber of Commerce members who supported the bill to discuss another strategy for change.
Another approach was needed to lobby government, she said.
Wanaka Chamber of Commerce president Leigh Stock said most Wanaka business owners would be disappointed with the outcome of the vote.
Mr Stock said he would meet with Ms Dean to talk about the future options to change Easter trading laws for the town.
FIRST Union Retail Secretary Maxine Gay said the vote protected days off at Easter for retail workers to spend time with their families. "The country doesn't need Easter trading, and neither do we see a need for Waitaki exception ... 270,000 retail workers can rest assured that their Easter holiday is safe," Ms Gay said.
"Despite Jacqui Dean saying that her bill is about choice and that shops aren't being forced to open, our retail members say this is not a real choice in practice," she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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