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Bill to remove Easter alcohol restrictions drawn from ballot

Apr 11, 2024

A bid to liberalise Easter trading laws has inched closer, after a bill to repeal alcohol restrictions on Good Friday and Easter Sunday was drawn from Parliament's 'Biscuit Tin' ballot.

The bill, submitted by ACT MP Cameron Luxton, would remove restrictions on trading and selling alcohol on the two public holidays.

"It's quite simple - if you want to trade, you can. That's how a free society should operate," Luxton said.

Buying alcohol in supermarkets is currently banned on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, with liquor stores shutting their doors entirely.

In restaurants, customers must order a 'substantial' meal if they want to drink.

Luxton said the restrictions were "dumb" and the bill would treat adults like adults.

"It just doesn't make sense that bar staff spend much of Easter telling customers when they can drink, how long they have to drink it, how much they are required to eat, and what they have to eat."

Luxton said it would allow business to self-determine which days they want to open, and expand existing employee protections.

The bill would amend the Shop Trading Hours Act to extend employee protections currently in place on Easter Sunday, such as the right to refuse work, to Good Friday as well.

Restrictions on Anzac Day morning and Christmas Day would not change.

Read more:

Wānaka puts pressure on to update Easter trading laws

Wānaka supermarkets choosing to deliberately breach Easter trading rules

Main image (VNP/Phil Smith): ACT MP Cameron Luxton.

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