Busi­nesses trade legally at Easter


Wanaka busi­nesses opened law­fully on Easter Sun­day for the first time in over a decade.

The Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil voted in Novem­ber to al­low busi­nesses to trade on Easter Sun­day.

Wanaka Pa­per Plus man­ager Chris Lums­den said this Easter felt no dif­fer­ent, with busi­ness run­ning as usual.

‘‘We used to trade years and years ago be­fore the law changed, so it just re­stored some nor­mal­ity back to the place,’’ he said.

On Easter Lums­den’s store would get ‘‘hun­dreds and hun­dreds’’ of cus­tomers.

‘‘You just go have a look at the su­per­mar­ket and see how many [peo­ple] they get through.

‘‘And they wouldn’t be al­lowed to open ei­ther, so peo­ple would have been hun­gry,’’ he said.

De­spite the law, many Wanaka re­tail­ers had for years ig­nored laws pre­vent­ing trad­ing on Good Fri­day and Easter Sun­day.

Wanaka’s Yes Photo and Dig­i­tal’s store owner Steve Wor­ley said he was fi­nally ‘‘cau­tious-free’’ after trad­ing on Easter Sun­day il­le­gally for over 15 years.

‘‘If peo­ple want to come down and buy a film for their cam­era or a mem­ory card, they can with­out break­ing the law,’’ Wor­ley said.

The store had not re­ceived any com­plaints while trad­ing dur­ing Easter.

‘‘But we’ve had heaps of peo­ple say­ing thank you for be­ing open and that’s the sign that we are do­ing the right thing.’’

Lums­den said his com­pany had fought the rules and de­fended them­selves in court after be­ing pros­e­cuted for trad­ing at Easter.

The fi­nal time, they were dis­charged with­out con­vic­tion, avoid­ing pay­ing a $1000 fine.

Store worker Levy Har­rell said Easter Sun­day was busy pub­lic hol­i­day for Wanaka this year.

‘‘It pays to be open and peo­ple ex­pect us to be open,’’ he said.

Margo Townsend, who works in a neigh­bour­ing store, Alice in Wanaka, said mak­ing an Easter Sun­day trad­ing le­gal was ’’long time com­ing’’.

‘‘It was a ridicu­lous and an out­dated law be­cause we are as much of a tourist town as Queen­stown is,’’ Townsend said.

‘‘Now we are happy,’’ she added. In the past, un­der the old laws, busi­nesses in tourism towns such as Taupo and Queen­stown had ex­emp­tions to trade on the tra­di­tional re­li­gious hol­i­day.

‘‘It just re­stored some nor­mal­ity back to the place.’’

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