Parliament 1 Government 0

Stuff reports:

Legislation to create an extra public holiday when Anzac Day and Waitangi Day fall on the weekend has passed a Parliamentary vote.

The final reading of the Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day) Amendment Bill was completed this afternoon, with MPs passing it by a slim majority.

Labour MP David Clark, the sponsor of the legislation, was not in Parliament for the final vote as he is in New York on a study exchange with the Eisenhower Fellowship.

That saw Labour’s deputy leader Grant Robertson take over today’s passing.

He told Parliament that workers supported the legislation in large numbers, while many businesses also supported it because they saw the value holidays for their staff.

“The cost of this Bill is not huge. It’s already dealt with and budgeted for by businesses five out of seven years, and it’s simply a matter of making that seven out of seven years.”

Earlier this year Finance Minister Bill English elected not to use his veto to block the legislation, after it became clear that Labour had sufficient support to pass the legislation. However the party still voted against it.

The bill passed 61 votes to 60 with Labour, Greens, NZ First, Maori, Mana, United Future and Brendan Horan in favour and National and ACT against.

As I have said before, it is not a bad thing to have the Government lose the odd vote in Parliament, and for Opposition MPs able to use the members’ ballot to get laws through.

A an employer I have no problem with this law change. If we have 11 public holidays, I’m happy for it to be 11 public holidays every year, not just five out of seven years.

I can’t see the logic in Mondayising Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and not Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day.

So well done to David Clark and Grant Robertson at getting a law change from opposition.

Of course as someone who is self-employed, I won’t benefit – I work basically 7 days a week!

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