Easter means different things to different people. For some it is a special time of the year that has strong Christian meaning, others see it as a holiday; one of only three and a half days a year people can rely on having off work (those being Christmas Day, Good Friday and the morning of Anzac day). For others it is family time or an opportunity for a busy day of trading.
At present some areas are allowed to trade over Easter while others are not. This creates variability which is potentially unfair, prescriptive and lacking in transparent reasoning for those granted exemptions
In August 2016 the Shop Trading Amendment Act 2016, came into effect giving Councils the power to decide whether shops in all or part of their district could trade on Easter Sunday from 2018.
The act whilst giving the choice to Councils, does protects the individual choice of shop workers. They can refuse to work on Easter Sunday and can bring a personal grievance if they are compelled to work or treated adversely for their choice. The Act also states that Councils cannot require shops to be open so on an individual and business level, freedom to observe Easter or spend time away from work is protected.
I didn’t believe that the mayor and Councillors should make a decision on Easter trading without consulting Aucklanders and so that’s what we are doing.
At the time of writing, consultation on this is due to open in mid-May and run into June. For more information please visit www.shapeauckland.co.nz