Council says no to Easter trading changes

by Anonymous Author

The Selwyn District Council has backed away from changing Easter Sunday shop trading hours despite 60% of businesses it surveyed supporting the move.

Last year the Government introduced the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Act, which gave councils the ability to decide whether shops in their district can trade on Easter Sunday.

The Selwyn District Council has decided it will not develop a policy on Easter Sunday trading hours, which means that the current restrictions and exemptions on Easter Sunday trading will remain unchanged. 

Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton said the decision came after a survey of community views on changes to Easter Sunday trading showed opinions were evenly split.

According to council supplied figures 46% of those surveyed supported council developing a policy on Easter Sunday hours, while 47% opposed a policy.

A survey of retailers showed that while 60% of retailers would support developing a policy, 35% did not support it.

Mayor Broughton said the feedback indicated that there was no clear mandate for a change.

“With opinion so evenly divided in the community, we were not hearing a groundswell of opinion calling for the rules to be relaxed,” he said. “Although some in the community would have liked to have seen more choice, many people commented about the need to keep the day for family time, and to give shop workers time out.”

Currently only certain types of retail businesses can trade on Easter Sunday, including dairies, service centres, pharmacies, takeaways, restaurants, cafes, souvenir stores, duty free shops and garden centres.

Historic exemptions under the original Act allow certain tourist destinations to trade over the Easter period. There are no current exemptions applying in Selwyn district.