Mike's Minute: Let's get on with fixing Easter trading rules

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 6 Apr 2021, 10:04AM

Mike's Minute: Let's get on with fixing Easter trading rules

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 6 Apr 2021, 10:04AM

I listened in despair as, yet again, we waded our way through the Easter trading rules. We're a small village run by idiots stuck in a time warp refusing to deal with the modern world.

Led, as it always is, by the unions who every time they open their mouths around Easter, remind us why they are in the perilous state they are.

This year's poster child was a Wanaka supermarket who had the temerity to open on Good Friday. That was against the rules. The rules which we've fiddled with and argued over for decades now. Rules we've tinkered with and messed with to leave us with the mess we have.

In breaking the rules, they will most likely incur a fine. A full $1000. Thus, reminding us what a farce all this is.

Interesting statistic that came out of the weekend's debate, two thirds of us don’t work standard hours. In other words, the majority of us don't work the standard hours. Those are the hours which the Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, ANZAC Day morning nonsense is all based on.

People, quite rightly, raised the issue of days in lieu and time and a half for those who don’t work the Monday-ised holidays therefore get nothing. There are anomalies all over the place. Wanaka is an anomaly, some towns get tourist exemptions, Wanaka doesn’t. Why not?

Because the rules are farcical. The laws don’t relate to the real world and haven't for years, if not decades.

The unions whined, as they always do about people wanting to spend time with their families, as though that’s not possible outside of Good Friday or Easter Sunday, and if Easter is really a big deal to you, take a day or two off.

Unions are an anathema to the modern world. Their view is of the 1970s, if not earlier. The gig economy, part time work, and flexible hours are all completely out of step with their mindset.

That’s before we get to the new Covid world of zoom and working from home.

Wanaka has been whacked by Covid. So, on an Easter weekend when the town swells with visitors, to still sit their arguing we all need to be closed, is an affront and an insult to a region that is on its knees through border closures.

Not all of us hate work, not all of us want maximum return for minimum effort. Some of us like what we do, like working hard, and like getting ahead.

For a lot of us Easter isn't a big deal, nor is Labour Day or Queen's birthday. If it is for you, celebrate it, recognise it, and take a day off for it.

But if it isn't, life goes on.

I hope the Wanaka supermarket, all Wanaka businesses, and all those who opened had the tills ringing.

Sometimes the law is an ass.