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Councils seek views on Easter Sunday trading

November 3rd, 2016
[TDC press release]

The Tasman District and Nelson City councils are seeking community feedback on whether to allow Easter Sunday trading in the region.

The Government has given local councils the power to decide whether to allow shops to open on Easter Sunday from 2017. If the councils decide to allow Easter trading, employees have the right under the new law to refuse to work on Easter Sunday without giving a reason and without any repercussions from their employer.

Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne said both councils had decided to ask the community whether it supported Easter Sunday trading before taking a position.

"Rather than us saying 'yes, we think shops should be allowed to open', or 'no, it's not a good idea' and then asking the community whether they agree with us or not, we are keeping a completely open mind on the issue until after we hear what people think."

Mayor Kempthorne said it made sense for the consultation to seek a regional view.

"It is possible to allow Easter trading in some locations and not others, but people may view it as odd if, for example, shops were open in Richmond but not in Nelson city on Easter Sunday - or vice versa. We want to make a decision that is sensible and workable for the entire region, and serves the needs of locals and visitors alike."

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese highlighted the importance of this approach.

"Partnering with the Tasman District is prudent to effectively and efficiently understand public opinion on this matter. We want to work with the community to understand their views on Easter Sunday Trading so that our Councils can make an informed decision."

The councils will be carrying out a survey to gauge the public's views. People can fill out the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EasterTradingNelsonTasman

The initial consultation period will run from 31 October - 17 November.

The results will be used to inform the Councils in their decision whether or not to manage a public consultation process on a draft policy to allow or prohibit Easter Sunday trading.

If the Councils do decide to proceed beyond the initial survey it is likely to take place from December 2016 - February 2017, before the councils have to make a final decision in time for Easter 2017.



Comment by Miriam Lois Gratton:
[Posted 3 November 2016]

The guidelines are set out so it's up to each business and their staff to decide without pressure.



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