General policy statement
This Bill addresses the current restrictions in relation to shop opening hours on Easter Sunday and discrimination against local communities and territorial authorities in their desire to allow trade on this day.
It recognises the inequalities of the Shop Trading Hours Act Repeal Act 1990, whereby some parts of New Zealand and some types of shops are free from trading restrictions on Easter Sunday, by providing a mechanism for territorial authorities to decide upon acceptable and responsible local practice in a district, or part thereof, under their control, through making bylaws. It allows territorial authorities to allow, or restrict, trading on Easter Sunday.
This Bill does not compel any territorial authority to remove restrictions, nor does it weaken current measures to ensure the protection of workers’ rights or insist upon the opening of a shop. It merely provides for local communities to have a role in decision-making in respect of trading restrictions on Easter Sunday.
Tourism is of increasing economic importance to many local economies. New Zealand receives more than 2.5 million international visitors each year. A number of tourist destinations for which Easter trading holds importance are prohibited from opening shops on Easter Sunday, whilst neighbouring communities remain free from restriction. This Bill offers these local communities choice and equal treatment.