24 Apr 2014

Retailers want Anzac hours for Easter

9:01 pm on 24 April 2014

Retailers and employers want Anzac Day trading hours applied to the Easter weekend.

The Retailers Association has suggested that shops should be allowed to open after 1pm on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, as happens on 25 April each year.

Eftpost machine.


Most retailers are banned from opening on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and Anzac Day morning, but some places like Queenstown are exempt.

The idea has new life after most retailers in Wanaka stayed open during Easter, when tens of thousands of visitors passed through the town for an international air show. Retailers want the town to be treated as a tourist destination.

David Rowe, general manager of the Employers and Manufacturers Association, says it should be up to the business owner when they open.

"There are some who see great business opportunities and certainly the holiday areas think it's such a missed opportunity for them that they'd love to be open. Others, especially smaller businesses, they already work many, many hours and days. And if all the shops are open, just like their employees, they enjoy a day off as well."

First Union's retail spokesperson Maxine Gay says opening for half days over Easter means staff don't get enough of a break.

Important time for families - Church

The Catholic Church is warning that using Anzac Day as a model for trading hours during Easter would hurt the poorest and most vulnerable.

Lisa Beech, the advocacy and research manager for Catholic agency Caritas, says Easter is no longer just a religious holiday.

"Lots of people are saying times change, times move on - but what we have to talk about it is, who pays the price for the changes that are being made? And it's families who are already time poor, who are already under pressure, who will pay that price."

Ms Beech says Good Friday and Easter Sunday give people a chance to spend time with their families and these days are the only time off many retail workers get.