Having just spent a large majority of the Easter period unsuccessfully attempting to buy bread from various stores around the country, MyThinks thought it might be important to help explain the new Easter weekend trading laws. These laws were passed last year by a conscience vote in parliament following some high-level moaning by a couple of garden centres.
Question: Can you open a business on Easter weekend?
Answer: The answer is quite simple really. Yes. And no.
Answer: Well… when the government were wording the legislation, they didn’t want to diminish or be seen to be diminishing the Christian traditions of Easter by saying, “Yes you can all open all weekend.” At the same time they didn’t want to have to interrupt their holiday weekend by having to explain, yet again, to the news people that the Department of Labour would be investigating any infringements brought to their attention.
Question: Um…. ???? again.
Answer: What the government effectively did was defer any decision making on whether or not businesses could open back to local councils.
Question: So the local councils are allowing businesses to open on Easter weekend?
Answer: No. Most of New Zealand was again closed this long weekend.
Question: But how come? Surely it would be in a council’s best interest to allow businesses and shop owners to open on a long weekend when people are wanting to spend their holiday money?
Answer: Yes. You would think that but, just like central government, local government are terrified of making a decision that would offend anyone so most of them haven’t made said decision.
Question: So was anywhere open on Easter weekend, then?
Answer: It really does come down to the local authority. Some have decided, because they are tourist areas, that all stores can open. However, others decided that only essential services like garages (which sell petrol and cigarettes) are the only businesses allowed to open. On top of this you have certain rules surrounding the sale of certain items. Supermarkets can open but they can’t sell alcohol in the morning, for example, so they have to hire more staff to police the alcohol sections to stop people looking and then getting grumpy that they can’t buy booze despite standing next to pellets of the stuff with clearly marked “on special” signs all over them. And if that wasn’t enough, since the last Labour government put in legislation requiring employers to pay employees time and a half when working on a public holiday so a lot of businesses are deciding not to open because they don’t want to explain to customers why their flat white is suddenly $7. At the end of the day it is up to local government and businesses whether they open on a public holiday weekend like Easter. I hope that’s cleared it up for you.
Question: Ok… thanks for that… So what’s the story with ANZAC Day morning?
After travelling internationally, there is a tendency for the head to lose the ability to keep itself aloft. I sit here in Narita Airport in Tokyo willing the nogginy weight atop my neck to maintain its usual positioning, yet all it appears to want to do is chin-buttered my man-Boobs.
All is not lost. Some ¥en wisely spent on a large “basic coffee” has the desired effect of keeping me awake long enough to enjoy the free food and beverage British Airways has to offer.
The length of the distance between New Zealand and the Europe so many of us share familial links with is renowned. The first flight takes half a day. Sure you may have time for a quick nap nestled in your moob, but the reality of the journey means in fairly short order you are devouring another half-day flight before you are even close to your destination.
Twenty four hours flying time plays many havocs on mind and soul.
But what joy the travel can bring. I awoke from a longer nap on our Auckland to Tokyo flight to just the thinnest hint of a sunrise climbing the distant horizon. Slowly the colours morphed through dark orange, blues and purples until the final explosion of dawn blinded me with a subsequent screen glare that prevented any conclusion to the Great British Bake Off.
Seeing Fuji loom as the mountainous guardian of the sprawling ubanity of Tokyo was particularly zen. This zen was inversely proportional to the level of chaos and rage that greeted me on landing at Heathrow. Fog had combined with the English inability to organise itself during a crisis to create some exceedingly unhappy travellers. Thanks to a quirk in the system I am yet to identify, our plane was allowed to leave meaning we eventually arrived at our Aberdeen destination over two hours late. Better to be there at 1am than on a couch in Heathrow Terminal 5 cursing the airport gods for the most useless excuse for an airport since [insert useless airport here – cannot currently think of one more useless than Heathrow due to my jetlag (which is far worse thanks to Heathrow)].
So we are now here in Scotland enjoying the pre-Christmas banter. We won’t be returning to New Zealand until late-January. Whether there are more posts between now and then really does depend on my ability/motivation to write them. John Key now gathers dust with Robert Muldoon and the great Jenny Shipley in the Great Big Book of Former National PMs. Our parliament has decided, in their infinite wisdom, to recess until summer is almost over.
I assume the country will continue to run in their (and my) absence. Who knows whether anything worthy of satirical cut downs will occur in this time? Maybe we will never know. In any case, requests can be sent through the @boonman account linked to this blog.
Until 2017, or the next blog post, MyThinks wishes all its readers a very merry non-denominational holiday season.
Hek here. Just relaxing on the deck with a tankard of chards preparing for everything when it kicks off next week. Campbell Live starts again tomorrow so I’ve got my “no comment” stickers warmed up and ready to go.
Lots of people have been asking me where I’ve been for the last 7 months. As John Key pointed out before Christmas, I’m on holiday. I’ve been on holiday since around about September – or at least that’s what I think. I’ve been relaxing for so long now I don’t even know what day it is! The only reason I know John Campbell starts tomorrow is that I came in too early while fast forwarding through the ads on MySky.
2013 is going to be a great year. I can feel it in my bones. My 7 press secretaries and 3 National Party “Don’t You Dare Say a Single Word to Anybody Ever” minders have been preparing the year ahead. Statements have been released. Sentiments expressed. I feel that 2013 is going to wipe 2012’s Aspen, Colorado. In your face Mayans!
Although It’s been a long, extended, elongated, prolonged, sustained, lengthy, lengthened, lenthenedingest holiday, I’ve not been completely out of touch. It was great to get a text from John Key the other day expressing complete confidence in me as minister. He was particularly unscathing about my communicatory skillularities which are second to none in this day and age. It was fantastic to hear from him after being ignored for much of the past ever. What a Key-hole.
Anyhoo… I must away. Hubby is frying up some paua on the barbie and I’m famished. Yous are all the shizzle and we’ll catch up some time soon – but not during consultations. I don’t like them.