27 Sep 2012

Union, tourism sectors support bill

3:58 pm on 27 September 2012

Unions and representatives from the tourism and hospitality sectors have told MPs they support a bill giving people a holiday when Anzac and Waitangi days fall on the weekend.

Parliament's Transport and Industrial select committee has been hearing submissions on the legislation.

MPs from the National Party questioned submitters on Thursday about whether Monday-ising Waitangi and Anzac days (6 February and 25 April) would detract from their commemoration.

That view was supported by the Northern Employers and Manufacturers Association but rejected by the Council of Trade Unions, which said Monday-ising Anzac Day in Australia has not affected commemoration levels there.

The Tourism Industry Association says people are more likely to travel when they have a long weekend and that domestic tourism accounts for about 60% to 65% of the money made in tourism each day.

Chief executive Martin Snedden says Monday-ising the days would be good for local tourism and its members strongly support the bill.

However, the Northern Employers and Manufacturers Association says it would be bad for business, especially given the current economic environment.

Its advisory services manager, David Lowe, says the Queen's Jubilee in Britain - which is a public holiday on a weekday - slows the economy by 50% on that day.