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Easter Sunday shop trading law to change


24 August 2015


Easter Sunday shop trading law to change

The Government is to enable local communities, through councils, to decide whether retailers can open on Easter Sunday, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse announced today.

“The current rules around shop trading over the Easter period are complex and relatively arbitrary. The law allows certain shops selling specific items to remain open, while others must close their doors.

“It also includes several historical exemptions which allow shops in areas such as Queenstown and Taupo to open on Easter Sunday, while those in Wanaka and Rotorua cannot.”

“The result is that some businesses and regions have an unfair advantage over others, and there is a demand from communities across the country to allow for shop trading on Easter Sunday.

“The proposed law change will enable communities to choose whether or not to allow trading. It will mean regions, especially tourist areas, can respond where there is strong demand for Easter Sunday trading,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“In addition, the law change will give workers the opportunity to decline to work or accept work if they wish to on that day – with no reason necessary.

“This acknowledges Easter Sunday’s continued status as a day of significance across the country, and maintains the ability of workers to take a period of leave over the Easter holiday if they choose,” Mr Woodhouse says.

Only changes to Easter Sunday are being proposed. Mr Woodhouse says this reflects the added religious and cultural significance attached to Good Friday, Anzac Day and Christmas, that remain subject to restrictions.

The Bill is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks. The effects of the law change will be seen when Territorial Authorities make bylaws to allow for trading on Easter Sunday, likely from Easter 2017.
ends

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