Tauranga City Council have decided to allow trading on Easter Sunday across the whole city.
Today Council heard verbal submissions to the proposed Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy, and deliberated on whether to allow all shops in Tauranga to trade on Easter Sunday should they wish to. Opposing views were heard and debated upon, leading to Council voting seven to three in favour of allowing trading on Easter Sunday.
Mayor Greg Brownless said it was a hard decision to make, which he, like other elected members, hoped that central government would have made instead of local councils.
“We heard and read many opposing views, with good arguments on both sides.
“In the end I believe, like one of our submitters put it, that people have to decide in their own heart what they want to do; if they want to shop or not, if they want to trade or not.
“So we have to leave this up to personal choice, and to democracy.”
Council based their deliberations on the results from various community engagement processes – an informal survey, the formal consultation process and a telephone survey conducted by a research company.
• 897 formal submissions, with 444 (49.5%) supporting the adoption of a policy allowing trading on Easter Sunday across the whole city, and 453 (50.5%) not supporting a policy.
• The separate telephone survey of 401 residents showed 60% support for Easter Sunday trading, 38% opposition, and 2% of people didn't know.
• The telephone survey results aligned with those of the informal pre-consultation survey, where of 5,736 responses, 49% showed support for full unrestricted trading on Easter Sunday, 15% supported trading in specific zones, and 36% were against Easter Sunday trading.
What this means
• The policy will take effect on 1 January 2018, and all shops in Tauranga are now able to trade on Easter Sunday, if they wish to;
• This applies to the entire city, including all suburbs (e.g. Papamoa, Mount Maunganui, Bethlehem, Greerton etc.);
• Employees are entitled by law to refuse to work on Easter Sunday, without having to give a reason. If they choose to work, they will receive normal pay as Easter Sunday is not a public holiday;
• Good Friday remains a public holiday with no trading;
• This does not override liquor licensing provisions. If a venue could not previously sell alcohol on Easter Sunday, the policy does not change that. Alcohol will continue to only be sold with a meal at restaurants and cafés.