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Napier City Council is reviewing its Easter Sunday Trading shop policy and is asking the public for submissions.

The Council has four options: (a) Amend the policy; or (b) Revoke the policy; or (c) Replace the policy; or (d) Continue the policy without amendment.

The proposal states that amending the policy is not recommended considering the small size of the district, and the repercussions which could occur by suggesting some parts can trade while others cannot, (e.g. city centre vs all of Napier. Having regard to the options, the Council is proposing option 4, maintaining the current policy.

To date the council has received 94 submissions, but details of the submissions will not be released until the consultation closes and responses are analysed.

Submissions close on October 12.

The policy, which was adopted in 2018, is being reviewed as required by the Shop Trading Hours Act.

As it stands currently, it is up to individual retailers whether they choose to exercise the right to open; there is no obligation to do so. 

In terms of workers choice, the current policy refers to the Workers Choice Provision in the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990. Employees have the ability to refuse work on Easter Sunday without repercussions to the employment relationship. 

According to the statement of proposal on the policy, Easter weekend in Napier can be a time of high visitor numbers. Historically, Napier has been a popular Easter weekend destination for both domestic tourists and foreign visitors alike.

However, Napier, like other tourist cities across New Zealand, has felt the impacts of travel restrictions and our cruise ship season, and the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle. The impact has been felt as a decrease in visitor numbers and visitor spending. 

Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air

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