Further to our prior blog posts from 21 February 2017 and 24 March 2017, it is now confirmed Whangarei District Council adopted the Easter Sunday shop trading policy on Thursday 21 February 2019 with immediate effect.
The policy gives local business owners the choice to open their doors and trade on Easter Sunday if they wish.
The policy also protects the rights of employees by giving them the right to refuse to work that day, should their workplace decide to open.
Following a consultation period opened in October 2018, the council received 29 submissions on the matter; 20 in favour, nine opposed.
Those in favour cited economic benefits, customer expectations of retail trading hours, tourism industry benefits, and consistency with other parts of the country which allowed Easter Sunday trading. In Northland this includes Far North District Council and Kaipara District Council - both have previously adopted the policy in their respective regions.
Those opposed considered the impact on the Christian faith, the reduction of rest days for employees, and whether in practice workers would genuinely be able to choose not to work on Easter Sunday.
Northland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Steve Smith said the policy meant freedom and flexibility for Whangarei businesses to decide their own trading hours.