Tauranga retailers are making the most of their first year of being able to legally trade on Easter Sunday.

However, a union representing Tauranga retail workers says it had heard from many who were confused and concerned about their rights under the new local law.

Last year Tauranga City Council voted to allow trading on Easter Sunday, with Western Bay's council following suit shortly after.

Many shop owners who fought hard to have the practice legalised have welcomed their first opportunity to try it out.


Trish Rogers, owner of Mount Maunganui framing shop Artastic, said for years she got around the Easter trading ban by opening as a "gallery".

Other years Mount retailers had run raffles to fundraise for shops caught open and fined, she said.

But this year there was no need to be furtive and retailers could make the most of holiday shoppers in a "spendy mood".

"That's what gets us through winter."

Mount Mainstreet manager Ingrid Fleming said the organisation was marking the occasion with Easter-themed events including an egg hunt and visits from the Easter Bunny.

Retailers were "very pleased to be able to legally open if they want to", she said.

Less pleased was Tali Williams of First Union, who said many workers had been in touch unsure about whether they could refuse to work and what they should be paid.

"There is a lot of confusion about what their rights are because it's the first year."

She said some rostered workers were planning not to turn up on Sunday and it was possible some Tauranga stores would not have enough staff to open.