Tonga Gov Looking For Compromise Over Sunday Baking

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Churches want compliance with traditional non-trading

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 10, 2016) – The Tonga government is searching for a compromise after churches demanded bakeries stop opening on Sundays.

The bakeries have been allowed to operate on Sundays since 1982, after a state of emergency was declared following a cyclone, but church leaders says it must end.

Tonga has traditionally been strongly opposed to commercial trading on a Sunday.

The commerce minister, Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, said the government wants a compromise and it has been talking with the various stakeholders, including the public through talkback radio.

"The government can see the mood of the people on the expected change and we may make a decision this week or next week," Mr Tu'i'onetoa said.

"We may find a compromise, say certain hours on Sunday, but right now, according to the law, the bakeries should not operate on Sunday."

 

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