Easter tills set to ring for the first time

  • 16/04/2017
Man shopping with EFTPOS card
About a third of councils around the country have introduced policies allowing retailers to open on Easter Sunday (Getty)

Some businesses will be trading legally on Easter Sunday for the first time.

A new law passed late last year allowed local councils to permit shops within their districts to open on Easter Sunday, if they wished to do so.

About a third of councils around the country have introduced policies allowing retailers to open on Easter Sunday if they choose, Small Business Minister Jacqui Dean says.

The Waitaki MP says she is pleased that many Otago and Southland retailers will be able to open their doors and trade legally on Easter Sunday.

"This is such an important step forward for retailers opening their doors for the first time after many years of frustration, particularly in tourist towns like Wanaka.

"Many business owners have told me that they are looking forward to be able to open legally on Easter Sunday and are enthusiastic about the opportunity."

Rotorua retailers will finally get the chance to open on Easter Sunday although not all are planning to, the Rotorua Daily Post reports.

The new law levelled the playing field by taking away loopholes that, for example, allowed a garden centre to open, but not a hardware store that contained a garden centre.

Retail New Zealand says it's pleased that 25 councils around the country have so far adopted a policy, and is optimistic that others will be looking at the issue ahead of Easter 2018.

Retail NZ's spokesman Greg Harford has said mostly business-friendly councils in "heartland New Zealand" had moved quickly, while the big cities such as Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin had yet to consider the issue formally.

Briscoes Group says all its stores are closed on Easter Sunday except in Queenstown, Taupo and Rotorua.

NZN