Retailers shouldn't be punished for opening at Easter

Waitaki news
Sunday, April 5, 2015

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said a reform of the Easter Trading laws was long overdue and retailers shouldn’t be penalised for opening.

“It’s time for a change in the law and to penalise business operators for opening at this time would be punitive.”

Mrs Dean said she was aware of a number of retailers who were opening at Easter despite facing a fine and she believed this showed how outdated and unrealistic this country’s current Easter Trading laws were.

“It’s tough out there in retailing, what sort of country do we live in where we put our small businesses at a disadvantage because of outdated legislation.”

Championing the cause since 2008, Mrs Dean said Easter trading had become a regional development issue, with businesses from Kaitaia and Kerikeri, to Blenhiem, Wanaka and Cromwell relying on it.

“Freeing up our Easter trading laws is all about maximising economic growth in the regions and supporting the tourism and business sectors of these towns.”

Mrs Dean said she was continuing to lobby ministers on the issue and was hopeful of seeing some progress later this year.

“In contemplating bringing a third bill into the house, it would be good to think that all of those members who are calling for support for the regions would also back my Easter trading bill.

“Retailers in our small towns need to be able to take advantage of the extra spending that happens at Easter and they need good laws to support them.

“I would love to think that this is the last Easter that regional retailers are shackled by these draconian Easter trading laws and I look forward to some positive change.”