18 Apr 2013

Tourism, business groups debate 'Mondayisation' effect

3:22 pm on 18 April 2013

The tourism industry and a business lobby group disagree on the impact of legislation giving workers Monday off when Waitangi Day or Anzac Day falls on the weekend.

The Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day) Amendment Bill, or so-called Mondayisation bill, passed its third reading by 61 votes to 60 on Wednesday evening.

The legislation, in the name of Labour MP David Clark, is the first Opposition members' bill to pass since the National-led Government came to power in 2008.

Tourism Industry Association policy and research manager Simon Wallace says long weekends encourage people to travel and the benefits will flow from tourism operators into retailers, bars and cafes.

Mr Wallace says some businesses have told him long weekends improve worker productivity.

However, Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly says introducing more holidays is the wrong thing to do in a sluggish economy when companies are struggling to lift production.