Backbencher closed

February 5th, 2008 at 4:59 pm by David Farrar

Sadly we can’t watch Super Tuesday at the Backbencher tomorrow.  It will be closed as it is uneconomic for it to open on a public holiday due to the Holidays Act.

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36 Responses to “Backbencher closed”

  1. poneke (280 comments) says:

    That’s a bit of a poor excuse :-)

    The Backbencher is in a part of town that is completely dead on weekends and holidays, that’s its real problem. The establishments at the Parliament end of Lambton Quay have the same problem.

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  2. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    aahh..!..wellington..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  3. macs (3 comments) says:

    Thats bollocks, I have to laugh at hospo places moaning about it, most of them would get more trade than a normal day, and what do other places that open do. usually have sales. Go figure

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  4. Ian McGovern (6 comments) says:

    The Holidays Act is only the excuse used to justfy closing,or being greedy and making a surcharge as some establishments do.

    [DPF: How is it an excuse? It is stupid to open if they will lose money by doing so, and paying staff 2.5 times normal rates affects that. They told me they used to open on Waitangi Day before the law changed]

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  5. john (478 comments) says:

    a posser pub, open for leftist halfwits like the leftist NUTTERS who continue to post, on kiwipost

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  6. francis (712 comments) says:

    bummer. hoist on another labour petard ;-)

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  7. BeShakey (405 comments) says:

    macs – I agree about many places using the Act as an excuse, but I think this may be genuine. I’m not a regular patron, but I suspect that much of their clientèle are workers, rather than passers by or people relaxing. Generally, without the workers that particular part of town is pretty dead – try wandering around there and the north end of Lambton Quay on the weekend to see what I mean.

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  8. burt (8,176 comments) says:

    So because of the “policies of envy” implemented by Labour the workers at the Backbencher won’t even get “normal” pay for the day.

    Home goal to Labour employment laws if ever I saw one.

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  9. Seamonkey Madness (328 comments) says:

    Another John, another call for demerits.
    Again I wonder if its the same dillhole as before.

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  10. cathi (34 comments) says:

    I should have thought that the prospect of DPF and his mates turning up to spend Super Duper Tuesday in the bar would be enough to make it worthwhile opening

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  11. GPT1 (2,115 comments) says:

    Love to blame it on that but I suspect it has something to do with the fact that part of wgtn is dead on a public holiday.

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  12. Inventory2 (10,255 comments) says:

    Inventory Junior works a few shifts at a supermarket in downtown Welly to pay for his education – he’s been given the “sorry, no work tomorrow” message, although they still have to pay him ‘cos it’s a rostered day on.

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  13. john (478 comments) says:

    Seamonkeymadness , drink in the thistle at the other end of the street and dont ask for demerits as Mr Farrar is free and easy with me in regards with demerites as im NOT POLITICAL CORRECT like im not politicly savey ,yer right ps dont be so rude mr monkey see a nutter monkey, opps seamonkey madness ,stamp,on it, in the thistle.

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  14. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    So much for positiveitly Wellington or what ever the slogan is.
    And what do all the CS’s do on a holiday, hook up to the borg collective and hybernate ?

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  15. natural party of govt (461 comments) says:

    take a day off politics like normal people.

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  16. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    Thistle stamping? I just use Roundup.

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  17. poneke (280 comments) says:

    So much for positiveitly Wellington or what ever the slogan is.
    And what do all the CS’s do on a holiday, hook up to the borg collective and hybernate ?

    Wellington is thumping on public holidays and weekends…. into the small hours every time. The crowds are amazing. But at the other end of town, not down by Parliament.

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  18. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    but..gee..!..auckland has the viaduct..!

    (um..!..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  19. Rex Widerstrom (5,342 comments) says:

    Party @ DPF’s then? He could become the Wellington intelligentsia’s answer to Corey :-D

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  20. Policy Parrot (175 comments) says:

    “can’t watch Super Tuesday at the Backbencher tomorrow. It will be closed as it is uneconomic for it to open on a public holiday”

    Yeah, I’m absolutely sure that is bollocks. You’d get enough Wellington Kiwiblog readers in there to justify having it open, let alone anyone else. I really think thats a poor decision.

    Maybe some pundits could’ve dropped a line re: their intentions.

    [DPF: If I had asked earlier on, and had confirmed numbers - possibly. I don't think it is reasonable to expect them to suddenly arrange a roster for Wednesday, based on me asking at 4 pm on Tuesday]

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  21. Richard (130 comments) says:

    “Wellington is thumping on public holidays and weekends…. into the small hours every time. The crowds are amazing. But at the other end of town, not down by Parliament.”

    ….except from 25 Dec to 7 Jan when there isn’t anyone here;)

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  22. francis (712 comments) says:

    hey, you might not have been here but I was and it rocked ;-)

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  23. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    john – how hard is it to read what you’ve written before you push submit? Spelling and punctuation aren’t that difficult, and writing full sentences presumably aren’t either. I say this out of concern for you – I think if you continue the way you are people will just ignore you – if you have something to say it is probably worth spending an extra 3 minutes to write it in a way others can understand.

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  24. checkthefacts (30 comments) says:

    When having to decide whether to take a holiday inside NZ over Christmas (where we have several holidays coming in close together) I decided to fly to Sydney instead. My last holiday inside NZ was in a well known resort town where our entire choice of restaurants was one take-away and one sit down restaurant that had very expensive food. After that experience I decided it was better to holiday outside the country. In Sydney, on Christmas Day we had a choice of dozens of restaurants on Darling Harbour alone. So a few thousand dollars got spent in Australia and NZ got the departure tax at the airport. Apparently Clark thought that a fair trade — whether local restaurants or workers thought so or not didn’t matter to her.

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  25. cc_vince (14 comments) says:

    Not quite true on the costings there checkthefacts.

    Just got back from a few shifts in australia working hospitality. Over there I (along with countless other workers) got 1.5 time for working saturday and 2 time pay for working sunday every weekend.

    Maybe not to do with holidays act in as much as aussies have a lot more disposable income (I sure know I did) and so have no worries going out spending.

    (Also their fireworks on New Years kicked ass)

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  26. RossK (277 comments) says:

    What is it that irks the right about this? The fact that things are not open 365 days a year? Or is it that the business owner has the choice to open affected by the obligation to pay holiday rates? Or is it that the workers lose the ability to “choose” to work? The reality is that if it was economic for business owner to open then suddenly his staff as a group have no certainty that they can take the day (a statutory holiday) off. I.e. one guy (the business owner) makes a decision that means many people (the staff) may not get to enjoy their stat holiday with everyone else who is also off.

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  27. Deane Jessep (63 comments) says:

    What irks me RossK is that this legislation had been boiled down to one choice: Is my business profitable enough to pull off opening or is it not.

    This legislation forces employers to only look at the economic bottom line. Employees cannot automatically choose to work, even if they would prefer it to staying at home (I know many people who’s work is their life). And it takes choice away from customers… who typically have more disposable time on holidays and really would love to use it.

    If I could choose to work today and take a different day as my stat I would, why the hell do I want to be part of the people who have nothing to do because everything is closed.

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  28. Deane Jessep (63 comments) says:

    For those of us who don’t have sky can anyone else recommend another bar that may both be open and not mind me watching it?

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  29. RossK (277 comments) says:

    Deane, What you say has a point but I guess my point is that I doubt whether the type of people who are prevented from working by the legislation are (leaving aside the business owner) in jobs where their “work is their life”. As for customers losing choice I guess it boils down to whether you believe that that choice (to shop on a handful of days) is really so important and whether affording such a choice means a cost to others (being compelled to work when they don’t want to).

    Or is the real concern with money that the business owners miss out on because they can’t open any more. If they were really concerned about employees I guess business owners would open as soon as they felt it likely that they would break even, right?

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  30. colinm (65 comments) says:

    Heh.
    Our local hotel does the same (closes every public hol). It’s the only TAB in town etc.. Lots of annoyed punters.
    Has anyone thought about how the hosp industry worked before this??
    Before the ECA penal rates were paid, and the pubs were open, the price of the beer had all of those rates worked into it. The price of beer never went down after the ECA, so whats the difference now under the new legislation?
    Ahha! Is it because, like me, my penal rates etc were wrapped up in an all encompassing contract, and now when I work a public holiday and attract penal rates I’m effectively being paid triple time (the old rates are in my package)? heh, and I get a day off too.
    Unintended consequences…

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  31. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    RossK, this debate has been around a zillion times on this blog, usually every Easter I think. In short it can be summarised into:

    – those on the right believing that some people actually would rather work and get paid than be forced to take a holiday at a time that may not be convenient for them. Not everyone needs the government to tell them when they can and cannot work, not everyone observes particular christian holidays, not everyone has a family in NZ that they want to spend time with. This legislation takes away people’s choice, and the right believe that people can come to their own arrangements with employers. They note that the legislation was always clear that people couldn’t be forced to work on public holidays, so it was always a choice.

    – those on the left who believe that “the workers” need to be protected from unscrupulous employers who will force them to work against their will, blackmailing them by threatening loss of their jobs. People’s desire to shop on public holidays is just capitalism run mad, having a day without shopping isn’t going to hurt anyone. “The workers” need to spend quality time with their family and friends (irrespective of whether they have either), and NZ should be returned to a kinder simpler time when everyone went down to the beach, had a barbie and played with the kids on public holidays.

    There is probably a little truth in both stories, I lean towards the viewpoint of the right.

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  32. David Farrar (1,881 comments) says:

    Good summary.

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  33. RossK (277 comments) says:

    One could hardly tell from the tone in which you related the opposing viewpoints!! I lean towards the left viewpoint on this issue but then I suspect that I take a different view from the right of the power balance that exists between the employers and employees in retail and the hospitality industry.

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  34. big bruv (13,662 comments) says:

    DPF

    If any business choses not to open on a holiday then I am more inclined to frequent the place during normal trading hours.
    However if they use the weak excuse that it is uneconomic due to the holiday act then that is pathetic, I am sure there are many other establishments that will be open.

    While I consider myself to be a true right winger I have no time for those who piss and moan about the holiday act and for those who are such poor businessmen that they feel the need to open at Easter or impose a surcharge on the public simply because it is a holiday.

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  35. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    But Ross, the law applies to everyone, not just the hospitality and retail industries. This is the problem with many laws that Labour have passed, they curtail the freedoms of the many in order to address issues that impact only a few.

    To me it is similar to the smacking debate – some people beat their children, so we passed a law that says absolutely nobody should ever physically discipline their children, not even the standard smack on the bottom or on the hand, because some people are too stupid and smack their kids in the head, or with an implement or whatever. I would much prefer to have laws that directly address the problem (make it illegal to smack your child with an implement or in the head) rather than broad laws that criminalise everyone even though pretty much both sides of the debate agreed that there was no issue with the majority of people’s behaviour.

    Extrapolating that to employment law, because some people have weak bargaining power, we should legislate conditions for everyone, even those who have significant bargaining power, are well paid, and maybe wanted some extra money to go on an overseas holiday later in the year. I thought this government had gone out of its way to strengthen unions, and that unions were the logical way to address bargaining power disparity. Are we admitting that unions have failed, are we saying that Labour hasn’t sufficiently advantaged unions, or are we saying that people are too stupid to join unions of their own free will, so we need to legislate instead? I would have thought that replacing unions with legislation would further weaken unions.

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  36. Ian McGovern (6 comments) says:

    Sorry DPF, I just caught up with your comment. Yes they may have opened before the change of legislation, but that was under the National Government’s Employment Contracts Act. Prior to that they would have paid the equivalent of treble time. Double time for the hours worked plus 8 hours single time for the Public Holiday. Some Awards may have had only time and a half plus the paid Public Holiday, but by far the largest majority had double time. So they are only back to what is less than employees enjoyed for several decades to compensate for not having the Public Holiday off.

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