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Easter Sunday Trading Policy

Napier City Council took formal public submissions on the city's Easter Trading hours from October 3 until November 9 2018. This will be considered by councillors at a hearing on Friday 30 November. Read on for more details.

Napier City Scenes March 2017 17

Napier City Council is proposing an Easter Sunday Trading Policy and is seeking your views. In 2016, the government amended the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 (the Act) to allow Councils to have a policy to permit all shops to open on Easter Sundays. The changes do not apply to other holiday dates such as Easter Friday for which current trading restrictions remain.

Before the legislation change, most shops had to remain closed on three and a half days of the year – Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Anzac Day (until 1pm) and Christmas Day. There were exemptions to this law for certain types of shops i.e. dairies, cafes, service stations, garden centres, pharmacies, souvenir and duty-free shops. Some tourist centres hold an exemption for Easter Sundays, meaning retailers in these centres can open.

The changes to the Shop Trading Hours Act give local communities the choice of whether or not to allow trading on Easter Sunday. NCC voted to adopt a policy that allowed shops in the Napier District to open on Easter Sunday in February 2017. In August 2018, a high court decision ruled the policy invalid on the basis that consultation on the policy was inadequate.

What would happen if Council do not pass this policy?

If NCC voted not to adopt a policy allowing all shops to open on Easter Sunday, there'd still be some shops open. These will be the shops listed above who hold an exemption under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990.

If Council adopts a policy, do all shops have to open?

We recognise the importance of tourism-related trade to the Napier retail economy and so are re-consulting on a policy that allows all shops across the Napier district to trade on Easter Sunday. However, it is ultimately up to individual retailers whether they choose to exercise the right to open (i.e. there is no compulsion to do so).

Workers' Choice Provision

The legislation recognises that Easter Sunday is a day of significance across New Zealand and some people would not want to work on this day. An additional change to the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 is the workers' choice provision. This gives employees and employers the ability to negotiate freely, and gives employees the ability to refuse work on Easter Sunday without any repercussions to the employment relationship. 

Easter in Napier

Easter weekend in Napier is a time of high visitor numbers. Our warm temperatures often extend into March/April making Napier a popular Easter weekend destination for both domestic tourists and foreign visitors alike. Easter also falls within the cruise ship season, so there is a high probability of a cruise ship being in Port on Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday is also an important day in the Christian church calendar because it celebrates Jesus Christ's resurrection, according to Christian belief. At the 2013 Census, 26,379 Napier people (46% of the population) reported as having a Christian-based religious affiliation. During consultation with the community in 2016 and 2017 on the previous Easter Sunday Trading Policy, Council received feedback from parts of the community that demonstrated concerns with having a policy that removed one of the few remaining days where shops were not legally able to trade. We're keen to understand the Napier’s community views on this aspect of the policy.

What happens next?

We received public submissions from October 3 until November 9 2018. This will be considered by councillors at a hearing on Friday 30 November at Hawke's Bay Regional Council's Council Chambers. The hearing starts at 9am and is open to the public.

More information 


Want to know more? Please refer to our full Statement of Proposal and the Draft Easter Sunday Trading Policy.



15 November 2018

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