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Councils shouldn’t rush into Easter Trading

City and district councils must ensure they don’t rush into trading on Easter Sunday ahead of local body elections next month, Labour’s Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.

“This decision must be taken seriously and only after extensive consultation with local communities. Councils that agree to Easter Trading will be giving away one of only three-and-a-half days families are guaranteed to be able to spend together without the pressure of work.

“The Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill – which allows councils to permit shops opening on Easter Sunday – was only passed in Parliament by two votes and only because National MPs were forced to support it. This is despite several senior National MPs including Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, Chester Borrows and Sam Lotu-Iiga all previously opposing this move.

“With local body elections coming up in the next few weeks, this is a great opportunity for ratepayers to be asking candidates of all political colours where they stand on Easter Trading, as there will be a cost to local governments that ratepayers will have to bear.

“Despite being a conscience vote, all Labour MPs opposed Easter Trading, as did all other opposition parties.

“Labour believes everyone deserves some time off with their family. We will re-examine this law in Government to make sure workers aren’t being forced to work when they’d rather be spending Easter Sunday with their loved ones,” Su’a William Sio says.