Further to our blog post from 21 February, we can now confirm that Kaipara District Council has given businesses within its region the freedom to decide if they want to open on Easter Sunday.

Easter trading used to be decided for the whole of the country at central government level, and most businesses (with some exceptions) were restricted from opening on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Doing so put the owner at risk of facing a $1,000 fine.

However due to the growing demand from both the public and retailers to open for business on Easter Sunday, changes to the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 have passed the decision on the issue over to local authorities.

The Kaipara District Council received 35 public submissions on the policy proposal: 19 were in favour, 13 were opposed and 3 remained neutral.

The Dargaville Business Forum welcomed the decision, saying businesses are likely to benefit from tourism flowing through the area during the long weekend.

"Everything is becoming more connected and on-demand these days, and giving businesses the flexibility to trade is a welcome move," forum chairman Peter Boyd said.

The Far North District Council announced mid-February they would open up Easter Sunday trading across their district.

Whangarei District Council has not made any public announcements, however they have confirmed to us they have not made a decision for 2017, and will revisit the matter in 2018.

Kaipara District Council spokeswoman, Heidi Clark, said the policy neither required shops to open, nor employees to work, nor people to shop on Easter Sunday.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please give us a call or send us an email – we'll be happy to help.


The Northern Advocate

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