Tourist towns flout Easter trading laws

  • News
  • March 29, 2016
  • Elly Strang
Tourist towns flout Easter trading laws

As the last (and biggest) public holiday before winter sets in, the Easter weekend was crucial for sales in tourism hotspots to tide retailers over until next summer.

However, in most places shops were only allowed to open for two days out of four, meaning sales that could’ve helped towns that go quiet over the winter were lost.

Retailers in smaller towns like Raglan defied the rules, as the sales potential proved all too tempting.

The Raglan Local Chamber of Commerce estimated around 85 percent of shops opened their doors on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, as travellers visited the cosy little surf town in droves.

It was estimated between 10,000 and 12,000 descended on the town from places like Auckland.

Spokesperson Geoff Kelly said the streets of Raglan were “jammed” with people wanting somewhere to spend their money over the Easter period.

An average shop in the town could easily expect a tripled income from the weekend, he said.

In Wanaka, Chamber of Commerce spokesman Alistair King reported close to 50,000 people entering the town over the long weekend.

Some shops deliberately flouted the law and remained open, as he says they couldn’t afford not to be.

In Rotorua, similar pain points were noted. Spokesperson for the Chamber of Commerce Darrin Walsh said 35,000 visitors came through Rotorua each day, yet retailers weren’t able to open.

Many stores ignored the rules and opened anyway.

The proposed Shop Trading Hours Amendments Bill will allow local authorities, such as councils, to choose whether shops in their town can open over Easter.

Yet many council members are against the Bill, including Auckland councillor Cameron Brewer.

“Proponents argue this will ensure greater local control – allowing for communities to decide, not Wellington,” Brewer says.

“In reality, enabling councils to decide on Easter Sunday trading will add significant legal and financial burden. It will also force council staff and elected representatives to rule on the conflicting needs of religious groups, local communities, and small and big businesses.

“This was at the crux of the arguments put up by many TLAs, including Auckland Council’s submission which I and every councillor supported.”

He said the current rules obviously don’t work, particularly when looking at Queenstown and Taupo’s exemption from trading restrictions compared to Rotorua and Wanaka’s forced shutdown.

“For the likes of Rotorua the current shop trading exemption rules simply do not work for them. However this bill is like taking the proverbial sledgehammer to a walnut.”

With domestic tourism valued at $18.1 billion and several smaller New Zealand towns in strife, two more days open a year could bolster sales for retailers.

Foodstuffs, which owns the Pak’n Save, New World and Four Square brands, noted this in its submission about the Bill.

“The restriction on trading on Easter Sunday is a significant inconvenience to many customers, particularly for those preparing for holiday entertaining, and those travelling away from home for the holiday weekend,” it said.

"The growth in self-catering accommodation has seen an uplift in shopping visits by tourists and being unable to shop for groceries on certain days is a frustration for many."

Many have also pointed out that the proposed solution means 69 different councils can make 69 different rulings on the matter, which creates confusion for tourists and shoppers.

Brewer proposes taking another look at the historic exemptions and working with the tourism districts concerned as a better solution.

“Again, the main issue remains around exemptions for certain businesses and certain geographic areas. They need to be reviewed and arguably updated.” 

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Building transparency in your supply chain

  • Opinion
  • November 14, 2019
  • Vanessa Thompson
Building transparency in your supply chain

Brands are under pressure to become more ethical, but how does this pressure apply to Kiwi fashion retailers? Unravelled Consultants founder and director Vanessa Thompson explains.

Read more

Coastlands celebrates 50 years in business

  • Opinion
  • November 13, 2019
  • Jennie Gutry
Coastlands celebrates 50 years in business

Coastlands Shoppingtown in Paraparaumu is celebrating its 50th year in business. Coastlands 50th birthday event manager Jennie Gutry shares some reflections on the centre's early years.

Read more

Me|today pairing skincare and supplements launches

  • News
  • November 13, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Me|today pairing skincare and supplements launches

Consumers are often highly engaged with the brand that produces their skincare products, but less so when it comes to supplements. The idea behind me|today, a start-up selling paired product in both categories, is to leverage that engagement.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Michael Hill to offer lab-grown diamonds in New Zealand

  • News
  • November 11, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Michael Hill to offer lab-grown diamonds in New Zealand

Traditionally, prospective proposers should spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring. It should be a diamond solitaire, ideally one carat or bigger. However, in a market where many younger shoppers are struggling with student debt, concerned about housing affordability and suspicious of mined diamonds’ ethical credentials, Michael Hill has moved with the times and introduced an alternative.

Read more

Winners of the 2019 Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards announced

  • News
  • November 11, 2019
  • The Register team
Winners of the 2019 Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards announced

This marked the 25th year for the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards. Independently judged by the NZ Business Excellence Foundation, the awards are organised by the Franchise Association of New Zealand. Read on to find out the winners.

Read more

Yealands Wine Group appoints Tiffani Graydon as CEO

  • Who's Where
  • November 9, 2019
  • The Register team
Yealands Wine Group appoints Tiffani Graydon as CEO

New Zealand wine producer Yealands Wine Group has today announced the appointment of Tiffani Graydon as its new chief executive. Graydon has previously worked at Yealands in a GM sales and marketing capacity.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit