23 Apr 2011

National MP plans member's bill on Easter trading

10:51 am on 23 April 2011

National MP Tau Henare is submitting a member's bill to allow trading on Good Friday.

Most shops must remain closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Exemptions apply for convenience, souvenir and duty free stores, pharmacies and shops in premises where there are bona fide shows or exhibitions.

MPs have made several attempts since 1996 to liberalise Easter trading laws, all of which have failed or been withdrawn.

Tau Henare says if his bill was selected from the ballot he would not want it to be subject to a conscience vote.

He says the main reason the other bills have failed is because of the conscience vote on religious grounds.

Instead, he says, parties should have a serious think about their position on open trade, because banning trading hurts the country's productivity and reputation overseas.