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Community views sought on Easter Sunday trading

25 May 2023, 11:30 AM

Kāpiti Coast District Council is doing its first five-yearly review of whether all shops should continue to be allowed to open on Easter Sunday.  

Mayor Janet Holborow said government regulations require the Easter Sunday Trading policy to be reviewed every five years.  

Council adopted the policy allowing shops to open on Easter Sunday in 2017, saying it contributed to a thriving local economy and a more vibrant district.  

About two-thirds of other councils (63 percent) in Aotearoa New Zealand have a policy in place allowing all shops to trade. 

“We will soon be asking the community if we should renew, revoke, or amend the policy. We understand that issues around shops trading on Easter Sunday can affect many people including shop owners, staff and their families, and others in our community. 

“The review gives us an opportunity for a kōrero with our community to check the policy is still relevant and fit for purpose,” Mayor Holborow said. 

“The policy doesn’t require shops to open, it simply permits it. It’s up to shop owners to decide whether they want to open, and for staff to choose whether they will work or not.” 

Easter Sunday is not a public holiday like Good Friday or Easter Monday. Easter Saturday is a normal Saturday for shop trading. 

Since Kāpiti adopted the policy to allow shops to open, average Easter Sunday spending has been about 45 percent of a normal Sunday. That figure has been affected by a bigger drop in 2020 due to the COVID-19 lockdown.  

The policy will be automatically revoked if the review is not completed by December 2024. That would mean many Kāpiti Coast shops would have to close on Easter Sunday except for a few exemptions such as dairies, cafes and garden shops allowed under the Shop Trading Hours Act. 

Consultation on the policy is planned for June and will be on Council’s Have Your Say website. It will be widely advertised on Council’s social media channels and local media.