You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Easter trading bill passes another stage

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/06/2016

The bill that allows councils to decide whether shops can open on Easter Sunday has passed another stage in parliament, although support for it has dwindled.

It passed its first reading in November 75-45, and after hearing public submissions, a select committee last month sent it back unchanged.

Since then NZ First has changed its stance, and on Tuesday night the bill passed its second reading 62-59.

Conscience votes are allowed on it but the parties in parliament have taken positions on the legislation.

Easter trading has been a controversial issue for years, and several attempts to change the law through members' bills have failed.

This is a government bill, and Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse is in charge of it.

He says it's a pragmatic solution that gives local authorities and their communities the right to choose whether shops in their area should be allowed to open on Easter sunday.

Opponents say it puts a burden on councils that they don't want, and the government should take responsibility for nationwide policy.

The bill affects Easter Sunday trading only. Good Friday, Anzac Day and Christmas Day shopping restrictions aren't affected.

It protects shop staff, who can't be compelled to work and don't have to provide an explanation if they refuse.

The bill still has to pass its committee and third reading stages before becoming law.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon