Easter Sunday – To Trade or Not to Trade?
That is the question the Hurunui District Council is asking its residents after it today agreed to consultation on its draft Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy.
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. The appetite for Easter Sunday trading in the Hurunui has grown, with the council being approached by community groups and multiple businesses in favour of trading. As a result, the opportunity for the public to have their say on the issue has become necessary.
Hurunui District Council’s Regulatory Services Manager, Judith Batchelor, says now the council has agreed to public consultation, the Hurunui community can have input on the important issue of whether cafes, restaurants and various retail outlets in the District should be able to decide whether to open their doors to the public on Easter Sunday or not.
“The special consultative procedure can now begin, and the community and interested parties will be notified of the consultation period opening. It is important that members of the public are enabled to have their voices heard on this issue.”
If adopted, the draft policy would allow shop owners, employees, residents and visitors to decide whether to trade, work and shop on Easter Sunday. Notably however, under the draft policy employees would still have discretion on whether they want to work on Easter Sunday without any repercussions.
Deputy Mayor Marie Black says that as Easter Sunday is a significant day to many for a range of reasons, it is essential we hear the community’s views on whether there should be Easter Trading in the Hurunui.
“I encourage residents and business owners in the district to get involved in the consultation process and have their say on this draft policy which would become crucial to what Easter Sunday looks like in our District,” says Deputy Mayor Black.
The proposed policy and further information on how to make a submission can be accessed by visiting a council library or service centre, or on the council’s website: www.hurunui.govt.nz. Submissions can be made until Monday 19 March 2018.