Crazy Easter Laws

Sigh – time for my annual Easter rant about our crazy Easter trading laws.

First of all, we have the inconsistencies highlighted by Cameron Brewer – Parnell shops can trade, but Newmarket ones can not. Idiocy.

But then we have the whole notion of the state stopping employees from earning extra money, stopping customers from being able to shop, and stopping retail business owners from earning a living.

I’m all in favour of no retail employee being forced to work on Good Friday or Easter Sunday. But many of them would love to work as they will earn double and a half time effectively.

We have 11 public holidays, and they should all be treated equally.

Family First claim surveys show most families say they want more time to spend together. So, what? Those who choose to, can choose to do just that. But why force your wishes on those who would rather earn money, so perhaps they can then afford to go a better holiday the following weekend?

If one uses the logic of more time with families to justify restrictions, then why not turn the clock back three decades and ban weekend and weeknight trading. And hey let’s bring back six o’clock closing also for bars.

It’s a very simple principle for me. The state has no role in banning people from shopping. We have 4 million NZers. Some of them may want to go to church, some of them may want to be with their family, some of them may want to blog, some of them may want to watch movies, some of them may want to start work on their annual accounts, some of them may want to buy some plants. It is not for nanny state to say we will allow you to do your annual accounts but not allow you to buy a plant.

And please if you are going to debate this thread, come up with a better argument than “You can shop 362.5 days a year, surely you can live without shopping for 2.5 days”. That’s not the issue. If you accept that as a maxim, them I’ll propose laws that you can not have sex on Mondays because hey you can have sex the other 300 days a year. Oh yeah also let’s ban speaking for just 2.5 days a year – you can speak the other 362.5. Hey how about this – we could ban churches from opening on certain days, because you have all those other days you can go to a church.


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