Marlborough Mid-Week : December 3rd 2014
12 MARLBOROUGH MIDWEEK, DECEMBER 3, 2014 ADVICE Christmas spending can really bite M JENNIFERMACKENZIE oney seems to flow out of one’s hands like water over the Christmas hol- iday period. There are work drinks, catching up with friends and meals out with the family, not to mention presents and holidays to be paid for! And when money starts getting tight, restaurants and bars adding surcharges to their offerings can be extremely frustrating and make it seem as if they are making a joke of you a little. So when are establishments allowed to include surcharges, when are they not, and how much extra are they allowed to charge? Under the idea of the ‘‘free mar- ket’’, when you own a business you may charge whatever you like for your goods or services. The idea is that this will be balanced by customers simply not purchasing from you if you charge too much. There is a fine balance between being cheap enough to be competitive, yet still make a profit. With the introduction of the Holidays Act 2003 which gives staff higher wages for working public holidays however, some businesses have started charging a surcharge to cover their costs for those specific days. The Commerce Commission stated in 2013 that while they cannot stop businesses charging extra for certain days, they must be honest about their reasons for doing so. For example, a business must not use the Holidays Act 2003 as an excuse to charge extra for the Saturday or Sunday of Easter, because those are not public holidays (only the Friday and Monday are holidays). Similarly, it’s misleading to impose a surcharge if your staff are casual staff, and so are not entitled to the extra wages. If a business is doing these things, it can potentially be charged under the Fair Trading Act for misleading consumers. A 2013 survey by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand found that the practice of applying surcharges is gradually falling, from 56 per cent applying a 15 per cent surcharge in 2010 to 38 per cent in 2013. It was thought that the reasons for this may include fear of customer backlash, and the practice of forecasting for the cost of opening on public holidays and building this into the yearly budget. The survey did find however that 80 per cent of those surveyed had either no reaction, or a positive reaction, from customers about the surcharge. It seemed that generally, once the reasoning behind the surcharge was explained, customers were happy with the idea. Hospitality New Zealand estimates the cost in wages of opening on a public holiday to be more like 28 per cent, rather than the 15 per cent routinely charged, but the Commerce Commission again warns businesses not to overcharge, because if it is found that they are profiting more than normal through the surcharge, this is unfair. Warmed up for more This week Annabelle Latz gives some final encouragement to continue training and staying fit after the Jules Taylor Marlborough Women’s Triathlon. All those moments have merged into a wonderful memory. Like when you had to battle with yourself to put your running shoes on after a long day, drag yourself off to the pool, go for that bike ride in the wind. That hilarious moment you had with your training buddy when you realised how ridiculous you looked when your goggles slipped off your eyes and filled with water, or how you were gasping for breath after your first run in ages, and the day you learned you can bike faster than you ever thought possible. Needless to say, all your hard TRIATHLON TRAINING Annabelle Latz work paid off for Sunday’s effort. The wind wasn’t ideal, but at least it wasn’t raining! Did you manage to keep your nerves under control just before race start? You looked around the start line at the amphitheatre and saw faces and expressions and differing shapes and sizes and colours, and realised you were about to share this pain and special moment with many other women just like you, and your same goal – to give your best shot and cross the finish line knowing you could have done no more out there. Did you find it was the small details that were the most tricky? Like what length of pants to wear, if you should wear a sports bra over your togs, whether to wear a thermal, and how much nutrition you would need? The rule for racing is simple – the only way to get better at racing, is to do more of it. I’m sure that for many of you half way through the triathlon would have been cursing to yourself and saying ‘‘never again, this sucks’’. But you kept going because a trigger in your brain which you didn’t know really existed kicked in and said ‘‘this sucks but you’re going to finish’’. And indeed, finish is what you did, with no shortage of glory and pride, and an overwhelming sense of achievement and satisfaction. Once again, you looked around the finish line and saw faces and expressions and differing shapes and sizes and colours, and realised you shared this pain and special moment with many other women just like you and shared your same goal – to give your best shot and cross the finish line knowing you could have done no more out there. A treat and a good dose of rest was in the basket for Sunday afternoon, and most probably for some of this week too. But looking ahead, the best treat you can give your body is to keep up these healthy habits. Because training for a race is not just about the physical effort you put on your body for one particular day. It’s about training your brain and shifting your mind set, to form healthy habits of physical activity and nutritious eating. Be careful: The piggy bank can easily be broken at Christmas time. Photo: FILE If you feel that someone is charging an excessive surcharge, come and talk to us at Community Law Marlborough for free, confidential advice about where to direct your concerns. They’re off: Competitors in the Jules Taylor Marlborough Women’s Triathlon begin the race from the amphitheatre on the Taylor River on Sunday. Photo: ANTHONY PHELPS/FAIRFAX NZ Keep an eye out for other local sports events coming up, such as King and Queen of the Withers in early January, the Saint Clair Half Marathon in May, the Marlborough Fun Duathlon Series next winter, and of course, the Jules Taylor Marlborough Women’s Triathlon in a year’s time. Sport is fun, and comes in so many shapes and forms. Embrace it, and remember the feeling when you crossed the finish line on Sunday, because this will fuel you over any hurdle. So there you go, you’re fantas- tic, and your healthy fulfilling journey has now begun. Celebrate, Remember, Fight back! Whakanui, Maumaharatia, Tu Atu! • Businesses • Sports clubs • Families WE INVITE • Churches and Social Groups GET INVOLVED!REGISTER NOW RELAY FOR LIFE • MARLBOROUGH For more info or to register, please phone Zoe (03) 5794379 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.relayforlife.org.nz 6369485AC 28 February – 1 March 2015 4pm Saturday – 8am Sunday Renwick Sports & Events Centre Relay For Life Marlborough 2015 THIS ADVERTISING AND EVENT IS SPONSORED BY THE MARLBOROUGH EXPRESS Relay for Life Marlborough 2015 is sponsored by Marlborough District Council, Marlborough Lines, More FM, Ezi-buy and SOAR Printing Take up the challenge and join us for Relay For Life 2015 How does it work? Relay For Life is a fun, community event for the Cancer Society Marlborough. Register your team of up to 15 people for $20 just per person, and then fundraise together, up until the event at the end of February 2015. The night is filled with special moments, camaraderie entertainment, laughter and great food! Join us to celebrate survivors and their caregivers, remember loved ones lost to cancer, and fight back against a disease that affects one in three New Zealanders. Join us in remembering those who we’ve lost, support those in the battle, and fight back against a disease that affects one in three New Zealanders. Take up the challenge, and get a team together and join our wonderful Marlborough Community on a night to remember.
November 26th 2014
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