Parliament’s Speaker David Carter needs to consider allowing a personal vote on legislation to relax Easter trading laws, the Green Party said today.
“MPs have traditionally exercised personal votes on Easter trading,” said the Green Party’s Workplace Relations & Safety spokesperson, Denise Roche, who will be writing to Mr Carter requesting the personal vote
“Past voting has not been along party lines, with eight current National MPs, including Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse himself, voting against Easter Sunday trading in previous Parliaments.
“Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and seven of his National Party colleagues should not be forced to vote for legislation they do not agree with that will see people forced to work on Easter Sunday.
“Shop staff shouldn’t have to take a personal grievance in order to go to church on Easter Sunday, as suggested by Michael Woodhouse.
“Easter Sunday is one of the most important days in the Christian calendar - that is why time and again Parliament has voted against allowing carte blanche trading on that day.
“Now the Government is ram rodding their own MPs to vote for legislation they morally oppose.
“This legislation is actually worse than previous versions, in that it creates the potential for a hotchpotch of local rules all over the country.
“We need a consistent set of rules that protect the right to a day off, allowing New Zealanders to observe this religious day,” Ms Roche said.