Kāpiti Easter Sunday Trading up for discussion

From Monday 4 September, Kāpiti residents now have the opportunity to be heard about whether Easter Sunday shop trading should be allowed on the Kāpiti Coast.

Last week the Auckland City Council rejected the possibility of lifting the ban that prohibits certain retailers from trading on Easter Sunday. Auckland CC decided that allowing businesses to open on Easter Sunday would undermine worker rights. This follows a similar decision from the Hamilton City Council.

Retail NZ’s general manager of public affairs Greg Harford, has expressed the disappointment Retail NZ feels over the decision.

“Today’s decision shows that Auckland Council is not really interested in supporting business or consumer choice, and that it isn’t interested in creating a level playing field for businesses across the Auckland region,” he says.

Kāpiti Mayor K Gurunathan says if a policy was adopted after consultation, local businesses could make their own decision to open or not on Easter Sunday. Employees have the legal right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday. Certain specified businesses, like dairies, petrol stations, and takeaways, are already able to trade if they wish under the existing legislation.

“This is a really important community debate that is happening all around the country right now. Locally, we are going to see extremely strong views for and against opening businesses on Easter Sunday. It’s really essential that we have this conversation and not shy away from it.”

So that there could be a public conversation on the topic, the Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee yesterday proposed a draft policy for an Easter Sunday shop trading consultation.

If a policy is adopted by Council following consultation, Easter Sunday shop trading could come into effect by 2018. If a policy is not adopted, only the few shops currently permitted by law to open would be open.

Further information and advice from central government agencies on trading rules, as well as instructions for how to submit opinions during the public consultation period, are available through the Kāpiti Council website.

Consultation closes on 8 October 2017.