Editorial: Easter break shop trading laws worth respecting

By Anna Wallis

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Anna Wallis Photo/File
Anna Wallis Photo/File

The Easter break has seen the traditional call for a relaxing of retail laws.

And apparently it's not even needed - the law turns a blind eye to such transacting in Wanaka, so why bother with the legal niceties? It's been reported traders in that tourist town were told inspectors would not be visiting this year.

Labour has argued some MP needs to be brave enough to bring a bill to the House which does away with our shopping-free public holidays. All three-and-a-half of them.

And though what they advocated was a ploy, let's not go there.

Most people can survive a couple of days without shopping. There didn't seem to be a great queue of people in the supermarket on Thursday frantically buying supplies like it was a day-long armageddon.

We can all plan. We all coped. We all got through.

And let's not forget people who work in retail stores - not the most powerful of positions.

It's argued they would have the choice to work or not. But most stores in Wanganui, for instance, are not overflowing with staff and there would be pressure to work if shops wanted to open.

It's also argued tourists want to be able to shop when they are here, 365 days of the year. I'm pretty sure they can wait a day to buy most things - we have yet to label our country as 100 per cent pure shopping and many will have travelled in countries where the shopping hours are even more restricted.

But we should keep trading hours as they are, mostly for the sake of New Zealanders.

Many people have precious little time to spend with families and friends as it is. There is no need to take away the couple of days where most of us can just relax. Holy day or holiday, it's worth respecting.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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