Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: Open to holiday trading

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Should shops be allowed to open on Easter Sunday?
Should shops be allowed to open on Easter Sunday?

Every year around this time Easter trading laws become a hot topic.

Personally, it doesn't bother me that shops are closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

As a Christian I think it's important to take time out to stop and remember the origins of the holiday but I'm not opposed to the idea of shops being open.

I think it needs to be a decision made at a national level. It will be less confusing for tourists and do less damage to regions which depend on tourism spending.
Amy Wiggins

The news never stops so all reporters work their share of holidays - including Christmas and Easter.

Read more: Retailers favour Easter trading

You can still take time to reflect on the importance of the day even if you do have to work.

In saying that, I feel for those who work in retail. They too have to work public holidays and weekends so it must be nice to know there are a few days a year they are guaranteed off.

I would be all for it if employees had the option to choose whether to work or not but the reality is, there are always going to be those who do not have the choice.

For the Bay of Plenty as a region, it is a shame shops are not allowed to open. We are a popular tourist destination and holiday spot - more so over public holidays as people use the time off to go away.

The Jazz Festival draws thousands of people to Tauranga every Easter and this year two cruise ships will be in port on Easter Sunday, bringing masses of people who will be looking to spend time in Tauranga or Rotorua.

Read more: Easter goodies donated to families in need

The closure often leaves people with a bad experience of the town. It's also a lost opportunity for retailers who often struggle through the quieter winter months.

Some popular tourist hotspots like Queenstown and Paihia have exemptions to the Easter trading laws but I think the same rules should apply throughout the country.

The Government is considering legislation which would allow local councils to decide whether to allow trading at Easter and Christmas.

I think it needs to be a decision made at a national level. It will be less confusing for tourists and do less damage to regions which depend on tourism spending.

If one region decides to allow retailers to be open on those days but another decides against it, surely that is going to have an impact on the number of people who choose to visit during that time and impact on those service businesses that are allowed to be open.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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