Easter trading ban to remain in place
Auckland Council has voted 20 votes to one to keep shops across the city closed on Easter Sunday.
Councillors voted on the controversial issue last week, after the government delegated decision-making on Easter trading to local councils last year.
The politicians faced pressure from demonstrators who gathered outside the Auckland Council Chambers in a last ditch effort to sway their vote.
The First Union members and church-goers wanted to keep Easter Sunday a holiday for workers.
Meanwhile, Retail NZ had urged councillors to ditch the trading restrictions.
Twenty-eight councils across the country now allow shops to open on Easter Sunday, but the Super City will not follow suit.
Auckland councillor Richard Hills said he voted to keep the restrictions in place.
‘‘We all gave very different views on why we supported to keep the status quo.
‘‘Mine was about protecting workers, especially young workers, and keeping one of our three days a year free for most to have time with family and friends or even explore our awesome city.’’
The trading laws are often criticised as archaic and remnants of a bygone time when New Zealand was predominantly Christian.