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GOOD TRADE: Steve Manning and Caroline Manning, from icecream shop Lick This in Napier. Photo: File


For the last dozen years Steve Manning has been happily opening his Lick This icecream business on Easter Sundays, and has done pretty good trade as locals and holidaymakers enjoy the long holiday weekend.

But for Faye Julian at Country Touch in Napier it has been the opposite, and a frustrating opposite.

Although that is set to change next weekend when the changes to the Napier City Council stance on Easter Sunday trading, allowing those who want to open the legal right to do so, come into play.

"We always have done and it was never an issue Lick This co-manager Steve Manning said, adding though that he was always a bit bemused about how the Government-imposed rules were laid out about who could open and who could not.

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But he wasn't complaining and said with the long Easter weekend coupled with the start of the school holidays there was likely to be good numbers of visitors in town.
"I can get busy - but it does depend a bit on the weather," he said.

Lick This appeared to come under a "who can open" section of the rules which was centred on takeaway bars, restaurants and cafes which stated you only sell prepared or cooked food ready to be eaten immediately in the form in which it is sold.

It was the fact that icecreams could be quickly consumed on the premises which brought his business into line.

But retailing, away from the tourism and souvenir front (which has always been exempt) had been a no-no...until now.

"It is a very welcome change," Country Touch owner Ms Julian said.

"Yes, we will be opening on Easter Sunday and it will be the first time for us," she said, adding that Easter had always been a traditionally busy time for trading and missing out on the Sunday, when locals and holidaymakers were out and about had been frustrating.

To see people walking around town and looking in windows of shops which could not open was not a pleasant feeling - for any retailer.

"When you are a small business and got huge rent to pay then you need to be able to open to turn things over - you've got to be open."

She described the reasons for not previously being able to open on Easter Sunday had been "crazy" and welcomed the council's stance.

"It is good positive stuff and we are hoping it will be a busy day."

While aligned toward modern design and gift items and far from trading in souvenirs Ms Julian said there were some "touristy" items which would appeal to visitors and like Mr Manning, is hoping the weather will bring people out and about on what had previously been a quiet day across the board for CBD shopping.

Another retail business opening for the first time will be Hallensteins.

"Yes we are opening on Easter Sunday," Napier manager Jaye McOnie said.

"First time for us."

He said the store traditionally opened on usual Sundays and trading could be good, although it depended on how Saturday trading went.

One store not opening is the big Farmers Trading Co - its board made the decision not to open for Easter Sunday.