NZ Herald 2 April 2015
Retailers are calling for a revamp of Easter trading laws, as one rebellious garden centre vows to again defy the ban.
Shops must close on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and face a $1000 fine if they do.
However, some shops, like dairies and service stations, which sell necessities are allowed to open.Retail New Zealand has criticised the “outdated laws”, saying they need to be brought into the 21st century.
“Many New Zealanders want to be able to go shopping over the long Easter weekend – but at present many shops are banned from opening by Government regulation,” chief executive Mark Johnston said.
“In 2015, when people can shop 24/7 over the Internet, the regulations really don’t make sense, and it’s time they were reviewed.”
The law gave some retailers an unfair advantage over others, Mr Johnston said, because “it’s filled with exemptions that render it meaningless”.
Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First, said workers deserved to take a break and spend time with families and rejected calls for liberalisation of Easter trading laws.
“This is not an issue about choice as has been argued.
For many workers, they don’t have the luxury of choice as to whether they work or not,” he said.
“Easter, Christmas and Anzac Day each remain as one of the few times when the whole country stops and takes a break.”
He said the law needs to be consistent, fair and be strongly enforced.
He singled out “renegade gardening centres” as the kind of retailers flouting the law, and called for the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Innovation to enforce the legislation.
Garden centres flout Easter trading rules
3 News 3 April 2015
Garden centres are flouting trading restrictions that apply during the Easter holiday weekend.
Oderings Garden Centres will be open every day during the weekend from 8am to 5pm and King’s Plant Barn is also open each day from 8.30am to 5pm, according to their websites.
Family First NZ is urging the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation to enforce the legislation.
Easter, Christmas and Anzac Day are the few times when the whole country stops and takes a break, says Bob McCoskrie, national director of the lobby group.
“Public holidays are traditions. They create rituals for families, not based on shopping but on celebrating together, reconnecting, and making memories.
“Poll after poll has shown that both parents and children want to spend more time doing family things like picnics and holidays together.”
This is becoming increasingly difficult as the retail industry is required to work almost every day of the year, and shoppers focus on the holiday specials.
He says many countries have public holidays with shops closed and tourists simply plan around it.