Napier is sticking with a policy introduced five years ago enabling retailers to decide if they open for Easter Sunday trading.
The policy was introduced in 2018 and is being retained in a decision made by the Napier City Council at a hearing on Wednesday, completing a mandatory five-yearly review.
Community consultation resulted in 178 submissions, with 118 supporting the council’s preferred option renewal without amendment, the position ultimately decided at the hearing.
Submissions were received from a range of respondents including Christian ministers, business associations, NCC Youth Council, retailers, the First Union and the general public, with just over half the 60 submissions that did not support the policy seeking revocation.
The Napier council considered three options, these being no change, some change or revoking the policy, which would have ended the Sunday trading.
Under existing legislation, the council could not allow shops to open for only some purposes; allow only certain types of shops to open; specify the trading hours; or include other conditions related to when shops could open.
Nationally, 44 out of 67 local authorities have such a policy in place, but in Hawke’s Bay the Hastings and Central Hawke’s Bay district councils have no policy, while Wairoa District Council allows Easter Sunday trading.
Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise says the Workers’ Choice Provision in the Shop Trading Hours Act means the policy strikes the right balance.
“We’re allowing retailers to benefit from what is usually a busy tourist weekend if they choose to,” she said. “At the same time, workers’ rights are protected through employees having the right to refuse work on Easter Sunday without repercussions.”