Garden centres defy retail law

NZ City 25 March 2016
Family First Comment: Most people seemed to be in their cars on Good Friday, not in their gardens!

A garden centre operator defying Easter trading laws says it’s getting plenty of positive feedback from customers.
Oderings had grown thousands of plants for its Easter sale and they were selling well at its ten garden centres on Good Friday, Julian Odering, a company director, says.
Garden centres are not allowed to open on Good Friday but are allowed to open on Easter Sunday.
Mr Odering said up until 1990 garden centres had an exemption but it was inadvertently done away with.
Garden centre operators had been lobbying politicians ever since, and in 2000 they got the right to trade on Easter Sunday.
But he said most of the prosecutions had been for trading on Good Fridays.
Family First NZ said the current limits on Easter trading were good for the country and families were taking advantage of the long weekend and public holidays to travel, visit friends and family, and holiday together.
A bill that allows councils to decide if shops can open on Easter Sunday passed its first reading in parliament last year after a heated debate and is being considered by a parliamentary committee.
Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse has said the bill was a pragmatic solution to give local authorities and their communities the right to choose whether shops in their area should be allowed to open on Easter Sunday.
The bill protected shop staff, who could not be compelled to work and did not have to provide an explanation if they refused, he said.
He said current rules were complex and arbitrary. There were several historical exemptions which allowed shops in areas such as Taupo to open on Easter Sunday, while those in Rotorua could not.
The bill affects Easter Sunday trading only. Good Friday, Anzac Day and Christmas Day shopping restrictions will remain.
Shops could be open on Easter Sunday, with conditions: Andrew Little
Stuff 27 March 2016
Easter Sunday – it’s quiet. But next year it could be bustling.
Labour leader Andrew Little has expressed favour in allowing shops to trade on the weekend, but he had a few concerns.
“I wouldn’t object to a law that allowed trading on Easter Sunday, providing the right of the worker to genuinely opt-out,” he said.
The Shop Trading Amendments bill is in the select committee stage in Parliament.
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