Publish date: 29/03/2018

Today at its March meeting, the Hurunui District Council deliberated on a new Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy. After discussion and consideration of all submissions, the council voted in favour of allowing all shops in the district to trade on Easter Sunday should they wish to.

Public consultation ran from Friday 16 February until Monday 19 March. Of the 25 submissions received, 19 submitters supported the draft policy and six submitters opposed the policy.

The council’s Regulatory Services Manager, Judith Batchelor, says the adopted policy now allows the Hurunui’s shop owners, employees, residents and visitors to decide whether to trade, work and shop on Easter Sunday. “Notably however, under the policy employees still have discretion on whether they want to work on Easter Sunday without any repercussions,” she says.

In 2016, the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 was amended to give local councils the authority to permit Easter Sunday trading in the whole or any part or parts of its district, if a policy is adopted.

Mayor Winton Dalley says the council’s decision to adopt a new Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy was made to reflect a growing and significant appetite for change from the community. “The council has listened to the feedback received from members of the public on this issue and has responded by utilising the 2016 parliamentary amendment to the Shop Trading Hours Act. We are satisfied that all sections of the community have had an appropriate opportunity to guide the council’s decision to implement the Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy.”

What this means:

  • The policy takes effect immediately today, 29 March 2018, and all shops in the district are now able to trade on Easter Sunday, if they wish to
  • Employees are entitled by law to refuse to work on Easter Sunday, without having to give a reason. If they choose to work, they will receive normal pay as Easter Sunday is not a public holiday
  • Good Friday remains a public holiday with no trading
  • This does not override alcohol licensing provisions, if a venue could not previously sell alcohol on Easter Sunday, the policy does not change that. Alcohol will only be permitted to be sold with a meal at restaurants and cafés.