PRESS RELEASE: Ruapehu District Council
All Ruapehu shops will be able to decide for themselves if they want to open on Easter Sunday next year if a Draft Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy being consulted on over December and January is adopted by Council.
Currently, Ruapehu businesses do not have the choice on whether to open or not unless they are in an exempted industry such as service stations, dairies, restaurants and cafes, etc.
Ruapehu mayor Don Cameron said changes to the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Act 2016 (the Act) came into force in 2016 enables councils to introduce local policies to allow shops to open across their entire District, or in part of the District, on Easter Sunday.
“Many councils have introduced policies to allow businesses to make their own decisions on Easter Trading including neighbouring districts Rangitikei, Waitomo, Otorohanga, New Plymouth and Stratford,” he said.
“Council did consider the issue earlier this year and while it was too late to put in place a policy for Easter 2017 the general view at that time was that businesses should be able to make a decision for themselves and not be restricted by the current law.”
“Before Council can introduce a Policy the new Act requires us to undertake formal consultation with our community.”
Mayor Cameron said in addition to the current situation of only exempted businesses being allowed to open, Council could either allow Easter trading throughout the District, or allow it in only some parts of the District and not others.
“It would also do away with the inequity caused by the current law whereby shops in some tourist towns can trade on Easter Sunday and those in other tourist areas cannot.”
“The arguments against allowing relaxation of the status quo are that it would impinge on time for rest, relaxation, family and religious activities.”
“It should be noted that provisions in the Act protect employee’s rights to refuse to work on Easter Sunday should they choose,” he said.
“It would also not change anything relating to the sale and supply of alcohol.”
The consultation runs from 1 December through to 26 January longer than the normal four weeks because of the Christmas and New Year period.
A full Statement of Proposal can be picked-up from any Council office of accessed through Council’s website ruapehudc.govt.nz