ACT MP Cameron Luxton is making an appeal to party leaders to allow MPs a free vote on his member’s bill to liberalise Easter Trading rules.

“The Speaker has made debate on my bill a conscience vote, meaning party leaders have the option of allowing individual MPs to vote freely according to their own values,” says Mr Luxton.

“The long-standing convention for legislation touching on alcohol or religion is that MPs are given the chance to listen to their communities and consult with their own conscience, free from the whipping of party leadership.

“Democracy is healthier when elected officials are given opportunities to display their personal beliefs. Voters ought to understand who represents them, so it would be a great shame if MPs are allowed to hide behind the shield of a collective vote.

“I don’t believe Easter Trading is a partisan issue. Modernising Easter trading is a cause that has support from Kiwis across the political spectrum, and my bill ensures that trading rules are liberalised while existing protections for workers are extended.”

MPs could vote on the Repeal of Good Friday and Easter Sunday as Restricted Trading Days (Shop Trading and Sale of Alcohol) Amendment Bill as soon as three weeks’ time.

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