Good Friday and Easter Sunday continue to confuse me.

On Good Friday I bought alcohol with a meal at a restaurant but on Easter Sunday could not purchase alcohol in a supermarket or off licence.

Good Friday is one of only two holidays in New Zealand that newspapers are not printed - businesses supplying only the bare essential services are only supposed to operate?

For years, garden centres have flouted Easter trading rules - the resulting fine was always (if it was ever imposed) less than the profit gained from operating illegally.


Thankfully, we now have a situation nationwide where most businesses can choose whether or not to operate over Easter.

Many impose surcharges on public holidays, due to the employment legislation which requires staff who work public holidays to be paid time and a half, and given a paid day off in lieu.

If a business chooses to open on a public holiday and take advantage of the holidaying clientele, why should the clientele pay extra so the employer can cover extra costs?

The employer should weigh up the pros and cons of operating their business that day and make a decision that doesn't impact on their customers.

On a public holiday, the Northern Advocate incurs the same printing and delivery costs that it does on any day.

We don't charge you extra for your paper, and we generally sell fewer newspapers on a public holiday because retail outlets have trading restrictions, and there are often fewer people out and about.

On that note, I don't think it's blasphemous to suggest that the Easter Holiday is yet to be fully exploited.

A four-day weekend is an opportunity to attract visitors to Northland, and from what I saw driving south on Friday morning, there were thousands heading this way.

To do what though, I wondered. Because with all due respect to the events that were organised over Easter, there were none that seemed to have pulling power to attract out of town visitors.

Northland needs a major arts or sporting event at Easter to give us all something to do when everything else is shut.

Because right now, Easter still equals quaint backwater in Northland.