Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has welcomed the news that Bunnings warehouses have agreed to honour New Zealand domestic legislation by closing on Easter Sunday.
The director of the Catholic agency for justice, peace and development, Michael Smith, congratulated Bunnings and the National Distribution Union for achieving this outcome.
‘We are delighted that the right to rest of this group of workers has been acknowledged by both the employer and the union,’ said Mr Smith.
Caritas recently told the Department of Labour’s review of Easter Sunday trading and holidays legislation that Easter must be maintained as one of the very few remaining communal moments of rest in our society. It also opposed two private member’s bills last year that proposed extending Easter trading.
‘While Easter is one of the most sacred days of the year for Christians, it is also one of the few remaining collective days off for most New Zealanders,’ said Mr Smith.
The disregard of New Zealand legislation by a minority of workplaces who insist on opening on Easter Sunday made it more difficult for many New Zealand families to spend quality time together, he said.
‘We believe that the government should be doing more to promote a work/life balance, and to promote more time and opportunities for families to come together. This includes ensuring that the Department of Labour strictly enforces current restrictions on shop trading hours.’
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 162 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.