Good Friday rules a blow for small businesses forced to close

Hot cross buns are a guaranteed Easter treat, just like Easter trading rules are a guaranteed headache. 

There are just three and a half days a year when almost all shops must be closed in New Zealand and today is one of those days. 

This four day weekend is far from a bonus for the thousands of small businesses forced to close, as well as big chains, like supermarkets. 

But with any rule, there are a few exceptions

Dairies, petrol stations and pharmacies can stay open, as well as shops providing services, like barbers. 

Mason Butler from Kingfade barbers says the service saw a few customers this Good Friday. 

"It's been alright, customers here and there coming in."

You also still have the opportunity to have your coffee, cupcakes, pies and brunch, as cafes are allowed to stay open.  

Where it gets confusing, is when you want a pint with that pie. 

Bottle stores are closed today, and those with liquor licenses are under tight restrictions. 

"They can't be in here for snacks and they definitely can't be in here for day drinking, or night drinking," explains bar manager Shweda Sachdeva

The only drinking you'll be doing, is a pint, with your main meal. 

There are also a handful of towns that are exempt from the rules; they include tourist hotspots like Pahia, Picton and Queenstown. 

Wanaka does not have an exemption, something the local New Worlds decided to ignore by staying open all weekend.

If they or any other business is found to be breaking the rules, they could be fined up to $1000.

Of course, most businesses being closed means a well-earned sleep in for many. 

And for those who have drawn the short straw, you will be paid time and a half today. And if you normally work on a Friday you'll get a day in lieu too.