I do like Mondays

Before anyone asks, yes, I did get the title of this from the Boomtown Rats/Bob Geldof song about the person who shot up their school. However, this isn’t about school shooting sprees. Nor is it a declaration of love for the average Monday. It’s about the Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day) Amendment Bill.

I support this bill, because I feel that New Zealanders already have fewer days off than most countries. In terms of productivity, that can’t be good. The huge gap between Queens Birthday and Labour Day already drains the heck out of you, but if you lose one or two others due to a lack of ‘Mondayising’, that’s going to make things much worse.

The most common argument against this bill, as far as I’ve seen, is “they’re commemorations, not holidays” (usually with an expletive or three in there somewhere). In fact, more common is “I don’t care what happens on Waitangi Day, but ANZAC Day is a commemoration, not a holiday”. To me, that’s where their argument falls down. Both Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day are commemorations. If you don’t support this bill because one of them is a commemoration, why not Waitangi Day? Probably because it’s not really that good an argument and you’re just trying to avoid saying the standard line, of “it’ll destroy small business”.

If Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day weren’t holidays, they would be allowed for in a separate piece of legislation to the Holidays Act. One of the standards for legal interpretations, and from what I can see the most common, is that if something is within a list, they are similar and if there is a list, even if it’s not there, it includes things that are similar. Surely, as Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day are listed in the Holidays Act along with Queens Birthday, Labour Day, New Years Day, etc, they are holidays.

Let’s answer the lie of “it’ll destroy small business”. If it doesn’t destroy businesses when Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day fall during the week, then why would it destroy them if it’s Mondayised? People aren’t getting any extra days off. In fact, the Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day) Amendment Bill specifically says that in section 5:

 New section 44B inserted
  • The following section is inserted after section 44A:
    “44B Transfer of Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day public holidays
    • “(1) For the purposes of this subpart, if either of the public holidays listed in section 44(1)(e) or (h)—

      • “(a) falls on a Saturday or Sunday and the day would otherwise be a working day for the employee, the public holiday must be treated as falling on that day:
      • “(b) falls on a Saturday or Sunday and the day would not otherwise be a working day for the employee, the public holiday must be treated as falling on the following Monday.

      “(2) To avoid doubt, this section does not entitle an employee to more than 2 public holidays for the days listed in section 44(1)(e) or (h).”

I don’t see the issue. It’s fine for most years, but in the few years where it falls on the weekend (the news said two out of seven years a week or so ago, but that doesn’t take into account leap years, so it’s actually less than that) it’s not? That’s a load of rubbish, and I’m not buying it for a second.

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About Daniel Farrell

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Posted on February 21, 2012, in New Zealand Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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