17 Apr 2017

Easter trading hours work out well for Rotorua

3:59 pm on 17 April 2017

There's been an excellent response to Easter trading in the city from retailers, consumers and workers, Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick says.

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Photo: 123rf

District councils were this year granted powers to make decisions on opening times for businesses over Easter weekend, after legislation passed last year.

With the support of about 75 percent of residents, Rotorua allowed shops to open this year. Mayor Steve Chadwick said about a third of the city's businesses elected to stay open over the weekend.

She said previous laws banning opening on Good Friday and Easter Sunday were archaic, and businesses and customers were happy to have the option to open.

"We have a farmers' market every sunday and that wouldn't have been able to happen under the old law.

"Town was thronging with people. The law always felt very odd and this made it even more peculiar - a bit of an anachronism from the past.

Retail NZ public affairs manager Greg Harford said the previous legislaiton was outdated and businesses appreciated the ability to choose whether or not they opened.

"The law is now on the side of choices, it gives businesses choices as to whether or not they open where councils allow that to happen.

"We're all for that - I mean the people who are best able to decide when a shop can open are the owners and employees of that business.

Mr Harford said many businesses still elected to close over Easter.

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