Retail NZ has called for Wellington City to cement itself as the only major city to allow businesses the choice to trade on Easter Sunday.
The comments follow decisions last week by Auckland and Christchurch City Councils to deny lifting the ban that stops retailers from opening on Easter Sunday.
Retail NZ’s general manager for public affairs, Greg Harford has called out Auckland council for not allowing retailers to open, and now looks to Wellington as the last opportunity to change the norm.
“While many provincial heartland councils have been keen to maximise the choices available to business owners and consumers by permitting retailers to make their own decisions about opening on Easter Sunday, our larger city councils have shown that they are not interested in choice.”
Harford stresses that this decision is not about whether shops should open or not, but rather is businesses should be given the opportunity to decided their own trading hours around the holiday.
“Retail NZ firmly believes that the best people to make a decision about when shops should open are individual retailers, based on their assessment of whether there is customer demand and whether employees are available to work.”
NZ retail believes that if Wellington develops an Easter trading policy there will still be retailers that will remain closed, but it is likely if the capital change its laws then eventually other regions will follow.
“Unlike in other sectors, there is special legislation protecting the rights of retail employees not to work on Easter Sunday, so the only people working in retail will be those who want to do so. We hope that the Wellington City Council will consider this issue and move to adopt a policy that allows choice on Easter Sunday ahead of Easter next year.”