A bill which effectively hands the decision on Easter trading hours on to local authorities has been passed in Parliament.

All five Tararua District mayoral candidates agree the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill will need to reflect the views of our community, with councillor Tracey Collis saying she is not in favour of Easter trading.

"The incoming council will need to develop a policy and consult on Easter trading," she said.

"I am not confident many of our retailers would be keen to consider Easter Sunday trading. Personally, I am not in favour but I am only one voice around the table."

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Shirley Hull said council will need to talk to the community.

"It should be their choice," she said. "Maybe we'll get some people who will want to open, others won't. This will definitely have to be a business-by-business decision."

Ernie Christison said his contracting business trades seven days a week, regardless of the date.

"In this day and age, it's about service to the public and our community," he said.

"If people want to go to the garden centre on Easter Sunday and buy plants, let them. If I'm elected, I certainly won't be pushing people to stop trading."

Allan Benbow said he favours businesses having the right to make their own decision.

"Before making any decision, I would want to canvass the views of affected businesses to ensure their views are fully taken into account," he said.

Kay McKenzie said council needs to allow shops to open at their discretion.

"People want to shop, especially if the weather is nice, garden shops are very popular during Easter. Also people travel during this time and are on holiday and are likely to check out antique shops etc. So, yes, it's important to allow the public access to shopping. Easter means different things to different people."