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Give business the choice to open on Easter Sunday

22 August 2017
For immediate release

Heart of the City urges Auckland Council to give business the choice to open on Easter Sunday

Heart of the City is asking Auckland Council to give businesses the right to decide on whether they can open on Easter Sunday.

This Thursday Auckland Council will decide whether Auckland should retain the current restrictions on Easter Sunday trading, or to develop an Easter Sunday Trading policy. Council officers are recommending to keep the status quo.
Heart of the City Chief Executive Viv Beck says that “Central government has given Auckland Council the responsibility to decide whether businesses in Auckland can trade on Easter Sunday. It shouldn’t be Council’s role to determine when businesses should be able to trade, Council should be deferring this choice to business.”

The status quo for Easter Sunday trading in Auckland allows only certain types of retail to open. This includes service stations, dairies, garden centres, duty free shops and certain services (such as hairdressers, video rental and real estate agencies). Other retail businesses aren’t permitted to open.

“There is no clear rationale for permitting certain types of retail to be open and others to be restricted. The law is outdated.”

Current Easter Sunday Trading laws also create a sense of confusion for retailers and consumers.

“Allowing shops to trade on Easter Sunday will not impact those who wish to celebrate Easter Sunday without going shopping, nor does it not force shops to open. Creating an Easter Sunday Trading policy means that businesses would have a choice to open.”

“We know that there are retail businesses in Auckland that would not wish to trade on this day. This is about empowering business. They know their customers and they will know whether it would make sense for them to open or not.”

“We believe that there should also be an equal playing field for business. The stated reason for drafting an Easter Sunday Trading policy is to provide all businesses equal choice about whether to open for trade on Easter Sunday. Auckland Council should let businesses make this decision for themselves,” said Ms Beck.

ENDS

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