Opposition to proposed changes to Easter trading

The government is seeking submissions on proposals to change Easter trading laws just months after two private members’ bills were defeated.

Just months after a coalition of church, union and community groups worked to defeat two private member bills to liberalise Easter trading, submissions have once again been sought on the status of Easter.

Caritas has told the Department of Labour’s review of Easter trading and holidays legislation that Easter must be maintained as one of the few remaining communal moments of rest in our society.

Caritas director Michael Smith said that Easter is one of the most sacred days of the year for Christians, and one of the few collective days off for most New Zealanders. 

He said that any balance between retail activity and rest was lost when the retail industry gained Sunday trading in 1990 adding 51 shopping days annually.

‘With only three and a half restricted trading days remaining, we believe balance can be achieved by strengthening restrictions, rather than removing them.’