Rotorua retailers look set to be able to open their doors this Easter Sunday, a move that has delighted the city's mayor.

Councillors at this morning's Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee voted to allow local retailers to choose whether to open on Easter Sunday, with just Tania Tapsell voting against it.

"I feel like dancing on the table," Mayor Steve Chadwick said.

"This is an issue that should have been dealt with 27 years ago ... it is one piece of law that has been nonsense."


The mayor said giving retailers a choice to open respected different views and would be great for Rotorua.

Workers concerned about protection and their rights should "get involved in a union", the mayor said.

A total of 123 submissions were received on the draft policy, with 79 in support and 44 against allowing businesses to open.

A survey conducted by Rotorua Chamber of Commerce of its members showed 78 of the 90 respondents supporting the draft policy.

Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson said he supported the change and "certainly hope the business sector gets behind it".

Councillor Rob Kent said: "In this day and age, with Rotorua claiming to be a tourism city, we should at least be open when the tourists are here."

Ms Tapsell was the only one to oppose the change.

"I suspect I am a lone wolf in this stance but I have to be totally honest in that I don't support this policy," she said.

Councillor Tania Tapsell was the only one to oppose the change. Photo/Ben Fraser
Councillor Tania Tapsell was the only one to oppose the change. Photo/Ben Fraser

She said she believed the right people were not asked about the change with many retail owners getting a say, but not the workers.

"In discussions online I've had a vast number of people saying 'please don't let this happen, we only get three guaranteed days off a year'.

"Where do we stop in terms of consumerism? Will Christmas be next?

"I feel I need to put the people before the profits."

The decision will now go to a full council meeting on February 27 for final sign-off.

Destination Rotorua chief executive Michelle Templer said the move would have a positive effect on the city's tourism.

"Not only will this allow the visitors that come to our region the chance to get a more complete Rotorua experience, it also allows business owners to make the most of what is traditionally a very busy, long weekend.

"Rotorua has a fantastic visitor proposition, which includes our retail sector, so it is positive to see that local businesses will be in a better position to reap the benefits of a large visitor influx this Easter."

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Allison Lawton said the Chamber was thrilled with the decision.