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Retailers say a big no to Easter Sunday trading

Media release

Newmarket Business Association


Sunday 9 December 2007




Retailers say a big no to Easter Sunday trading  


Auckland's leading shopping precinct says a snap poll has revealed that about three-quarters of its retailers are against a potential law change to allow all New Zealand shops to open on Easter Sunday.


“This result will surprise a lot of people. Most people assume it’s the retailers who are the ones leading the charge for further liberalisation of shop trading hours, but in fact most retailers don’t want to open up on Easter Sunday,” says Cameron Brewer, head of the Newmarket Business Association.


Over 400 Newmarket retailers were last week emailed the question “Should the Government change the law to allow all New Zealand shops to open on Easter Sunday?"  Mr Brewer says that responses so far have 73% against shops opening on Easter Sunday and 27% for.


Public feedback on a Government discussion document about options around Easter Sunday trading closes this Friday – 14 December. Currently most New Zealand shops can't open on Easter Sunday with an exception to certain shops providing "essential" supplies and some areas that have historic exemptions. 


"It is very clear that retailers value having Easter off – it’s their sole surviving long weekend. Let's not forget that most of them are open 361.5 days of the year.


"Some retailers believe if Easter Sunday goes, then it will be Good Friday, Christmas Day, and Anzac Day morning. Subsequently we're going to support the majority of our retailers in our submission and tell the Government to put the brakes on and preserve these 3.5 days.


“We’ve always argued that Parliament needs to sort out the current inconsistencies, and we will be reiterating that in our submission.


“Parliament needs to sort out the annual Easter circus which sees the likes of Parnell allowed to trade on Easter Sunday because it has got an historic exemption. It’s equally crazy that visitor destinations like Queenstown and Taupo can trade, but Rotorua, Mt Maunganui and Wanaka can't and desperately want to. The Government needs to fix these kinds of anomalies once and for all, as well as address the status of garden centres.”


Mr Brewer says there have been many attempts to change Easter shop trading legislation over the past 17 years, including two private members bills debated this year, but changes have yet to be made. He said Parliament should treat the Easter trading issue as a conscience vote because MPs' personal views cross party divides. 


"We encourage individuals, businesses and organisations to get on the Department of Labour's website this week and have their say on Easter Sunday trading," said Mr Brewer.









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