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The $40,000 Easter Trading Facts

THE $40,000 Easter Trading Facts

Farmers' Markets New Zealand (FMNZ) that represents 50 farmers' markets from Invercargill to Bay of Islands is supporting it member markets who trade on Easter Sunday. Hamilton farmers' market was forced to close this Easter Sunday after correspondence with the Department of Labour earlier in the week, saying that they would fine stallholders $1000 each and the market organisers up to $40,000 if they opened, this is in contrary to information that FMNZ has received in the past.

After numerous discussions with the Department of Labor over the past 5 years FMNZ has always advocated that its members are able to trade under the following exemption, a farmers' market is a food market where local growers, farmers, and artisan food producers sell their wares directly to consumers. A farmers' market is a exhibition of local food producers primarily involved in agriculture and industry. For more information FMNZ has received different answers to its questions it has put to the Department of Labour over the years, depending on who it has spoken to and has always been referred to its website for reference as quoted below. FMNZ finds the Department of Labour current stance with Hamilton farmers' market somewhat confusing, much like there fact sheets and telephone help line !!!

A shop in a premises where an exhibition or show is taking place. This includes markets, craft shows and stalls at these exhibitions and shows The shop/stall must be within the premises of a bona fide exhibition or show The bona fide exhibition or show must be devoted entirely or primarily to agriculture, art, industry, and science, or any of these. The Department of Labour considers that to be quite a strict requirement, and that to be considered ‘devoted’ to a show or exhibition a shop must be selling goods that are connected in some way with the show. For example, arts and crafts at an art and craft show, or farming supplies at an agriculture show, rather than general goods.

FMNZ has had a very busy year with the completion of a number of milestones and projects including a new website at and our member’s website at


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