Anzac Day shopping laws a 'blueprint' for all holidays

Photo / Brett Phibbs
Photo / Brett Phibbs

Anzac Day shopping laws should be a "blueprint'' for all holidays in which shops are required to close, the Retailers Association says.

Shoppers were confused over which retailers could open their doors on holidays, such as Easter, and the rules needed to be clearer, Association chief executive Mark Johnston said.

Tomorrow all retail outlets have to close until 1pm.

Easter weekend saw 18 complaints made about businesses flouting Easter weekend trading laws this year, but none will be prosecuted.

That prompted Prime Minister John Key to say the legislation needed an overhaul.

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Mr Johnston told Radio New Zealand he believed shops would adhere to the rules tomorrow and stay closed until the afternoon.

"I think Anzac Day has a very special place in the hearts of modern New Zealand and maybe the Anzac Day model where all shops are able to legally open at 1 o'clock tomorrow could be a possible blueprint in modernising Easter Trading restrictions, which at the moment there's a lot of confusion around.''

There had been no prosecutions over the last few years of stores opening illegally on Anzac Day, he said.

The current legislation needed updating to "reflect where New Zealand society is now in 2014''.

"For example online shopping wasn't around 20 years ago and the current Act has no provision for online shopping and from a consumers point of view, shopping is very different today to how they were back in 1990 when the Act was passed into legislation.''

The association would be lobbying the Government and opposition parties before and after the election to take into account the ``significant changes'' in consumer shopping habits.

Last weekend Wanaka retailers were reportedly tipped off that inspectors would not visit their town during the Easter break.

Most stayed open, taking advantage of about 100,000 visitors in town for the Warbirds over Wanaka International Airshow.

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean told RNZ she was speaking with colleagues about making changes to retail trading hours and liquor licensing laws to get around the Easter trading legislation.

- APNZ

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