Should Easter trading laws support our tourism industry?

  • Opinion
  • March 30, 2016
  • Paul Keane
Should Easter trading laws support our tourism industry?

The return to the office after Easter break generates a feeling of déjà vu. I don’t like being repetitive, yet once again the Easter break has raised the question of whether shops should be allowed to open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

This issue is currently being addressed by Government and it seems apparent that the “trading pass” will be left with local bodies to decide. This in itself will be a diabolical outcome as holiday makers will not know where they stand.

From a personal perspective, I have always been of the view that we have enough trading days and why worry about 3.5 days a year when we cannot shop? It just does not seem that important.

Whilst this is just one man’s view, there are factors which influence my thinking.

Given the opportunity, some shops still choose to be closed

Over the long weekend, I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Russell in the Bay of Islands. That was after it took five and a half hours to get there from Auckland! The weather was outstanding and given current legislation, retail shops in Russel and Paihia are permitted to open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Some shops were open, some were closed. It’s an individual retailer’s choice, but the fact is that not all took advantage of the opportunity. Why was that? Russell had heaps of tourists! The reason was that some retailers just wanted time off on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It’s that simple. That’s why the debate around trading on these days will go on for a long time.

Food and beverage is not the same as retail

Bars and restaurants were all open and were trading well, selling both alcohol and food. Debaters will suggest that if food and beverage facilities can open then why not retail stores? The reality is that the two are not the same. One is entertainment, and fulfilling personal needs, whilst the other is “trading”, there is a difference.

Craziness due to a lack of clarity

Some restaurateurs were also confused as to what they could and could not provide under current legislation. One restaurant refused to permit its customers drink their wine until their meal had been delivered to the table. Can you imagine the reaction from customers? They considered this an outrageous rule, as did those who were told they would have to stop drinking their wine once their food had been consumed. Have we all gone mad!

Let’s get clear about our motivations

Granting permission to open on Christmas day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and half of Anzac day should be driven by rules relative to ensuring that visitors to this country are able to shop in certain destinations on those days. Traditional retailers in cities do not need to open as they attract few international visitors, compared to true tourist locations.

This rule should not be confused with what visitor’s desire. It has nothing to do with that. When we visit other countries, we have to abide by their rules. Try getting an alcoholic drink in Dubai! However, if we are going to allow shops, restaurants and bars to open, then let’s make the rules clear as to what they can and cannot sell and lift the limitations which may currently exist.

Was rejection of the new flag also a rejection of change? 

Finally, the Government were wise to announce the outcome of the flag referendum right on Easter; the debate that followed was like a limp squid. It is however a great shame that the nation didn’t take the opportunity to move with the times.

What we may never know is exactly how many people wanted the current flag changed. The debate and referendum instead concentrated on one flag type over another, what was lost was the very apparent desire by a large number of people to change the flag.

I hope that the trading hours debate does not fall into the same vacuum. We must decide what the “needs are” rather than make an emotive decision to open all the doors all the time.

But that’s all just one man’s opinion!

Paul Keane is a registered property professional and has vast experience in New Zealand’s commercial property industries. He provides retail and property consultancy including development management to many New Zealand property owners, developers and city councils. 

This post originally appeared on RCG's blog.


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