Extra public holiday proposal squashed by NZ First

The Government (or at least a part of the Government) had been considering more public holidays, but that idea seems to have been squashed by NZ First due to the extra cost to businesses already struggling from the economic impact of Covid-19.

Stuff: Government pondering extra public holidays to encourage domestic tourism

The Government is giving “active consideration” to additional holidays to get Kiwis out spending in order to boost tourism operations.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that was one idea being considered to provide an economic boost to the country’s embattled tourism sector during a visit to Rotorua’s Te Puia on Tuesday.

Asked whether, in the wake of Easter and Anzac Day falling within the earlier lockdown periods, additional holiday time was being considered, Ardern said the Government is thinking of ideas “to encourage New Zealanders to come and see their own back yards”.

“Those are things we’re giving active consideration to.”

But Winston Peters seems not to have been a part of those considerations:

Weve been asked whether NZF supports an xtra public holiday. Our answer after serious thought is – no.  NZ has just been through weeks of lockdown – in some ways an enforced holiday. We understand how Covid put business owners under real financial strain.

We know that business owners are not paying themselves so they can keep their staff going and many who are paying their bills, but not paying themselves. That is why we can’t support extra public holidays – they come at a cost to businesses and workers.

It’s another day of no production, when production is well down due to Covid. For many businesses it’s a day of no income when they need to pay their bills. Holidays are great, but it will cost small businesses, and will cost 1000s of workers their jobs – NZF understands that.

I’m surprised those considering extra public holidays didn’t understand this.

I don’t know why extra holidays were even being considered. I think that most employees would prefer to get their normal hours and normal pay back. I certainly would.