Easter Sun­day trad­ing changes

The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BAYLEY MOOR

Busi­nesses in the Far North can now legally open on Easter Sun­day fol­low­ing the adop­tion of a new by­law.

The Far North District Coun­cil has adopted the by­law to al­low trad­ing af­ter lo­cal gov­ern­ments were given the power to con­trol trad­ing on this hol­i­day from cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

In the Far North only busi­nesses op­er­at­ing in the tourist hub of Pai­hia were legally al­lowed to open, prior to the in­tro­duc­tion of the by­law.

The coun­cil re­ceived 24 sub­mis­sions, out of 46, op­pos­ing trad­ing on Easter Sun­day, with the ma­jor­ity con­cerned that shop staff would lose one of their last re­main­ing guar­an­teed days off work.

Kawakawa Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion chair­per­son Mal­colm Fran­cis says Easter Sun­day should re­main a guar­an­teed day off for staff.

‘‘It’s a re­li­gious day and it should stay that way.’’

He says for small busi­nesses in the area it would be un­af­ford­able to open on Easter Sun­day.

Elaines Kitchen owner op­er­a­tor Elaine Subritzky says she is a Christian and wants to hon­our her faith by not opening on Easter Sun­day.

She says she doesn’t have a neg­a­tive opin­ion on those who choose to open but she says it is im­por­tant that peo­ple also spend time with fam­ily and friends.

Subritzky says she would have to triple her turnover to cover the staff costs on pub­lic hol­i­days.

Kerik­eri Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion chair­per­son Ja­son Vokes says the or­gan­i­sa­tion put in a sub­mis­sion in sup­port of busi­nesses be­ing al­lowed to trade.

‘‘It is sig­nif­i­cant for busi­nesses be­cause they can op­er­ate without fear of be­ing fined.’’

He says it might take a while for cus­tomers to get used to Kerik­eri busi­nesses be­ing open, but it is ‘‘about time’’ they are able to open on Easter Sun­day.

Be­fore the by­law was in­tro­duced, own­ers could be li­able for a $1000 fine for op­er­at­ing.

Em­ploy­ers must pro­vide at least four weeks’ no­tice to staff of their in­ten­tion to open. The Shop Trad­ing Hours Amend­ment Act also pro­tects work­ers who choose not to work on Easter Sun­day.

Shops must still close on Christ­mas Day, Good Fri­day and un­til 1.00pm on AN­ZAC Day, with some ex­cep­tions for dairies, ser­vice sta­tions and phar­ma­cies.

Kawakawa Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion’s Mal­colm Fran­cis says Easter Sun­day should re­main a day off.

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