Media Releases

Easter holidays hampered by shop trading restrictions

26 March 2024

Families around Aotearoa New Zealand are heading away for the long Easter weekend but many will reach their destinations to find that shops are closed this Friday and Sunday.

Restrictions on Easter trading are increasingly outdated in 2024, Retail NZ Chief Executive Carolyn Young says.

The peak body for New Zealand retailers says current legislation around Easter trading is no longer fit for purpose to meet the needs of consumers or retailers.

“Consumers are able to shop online without restrictions on any day of the year at any time. The restrictions the Shop Trading Hours Act places on bricks-and-mortar stores are confusing, inconsistent and not responsive to the 2024 environment,” Ms Young says.

Restrictions on shop trading hours do not apply to e-commerce retailers, and the restrictions do not apply to any other type of business.

Local Councils have the ability to provide exemptions, which means that the restrictions are not consistent across the country, creating confusion for consumers.

“Around 65,000 visitors are expected to attend Warbirds Over Wānaka this weekend, yet local shops cannot open if they wish, both to ensure visitors’ needs are met and to amplify the economic spinoff for the region. Shops in many other long weekend holiday destinations will not be open on Good Friday or Easter Sunday,” Ms Young says.

“Shop workers have special rights under the law and are guaranteed Easter Sunday off, if they want it. We support the continuation of this right.”

Retail NZ supports moves to review Easter trading through the private member’s Bill lodged by ACT MP Cameron Luxton.

Find out more details about Retail NZ’s position on Shop Trading Hours.

Please note an earlier version of this media release incorrectly stated that Wānaka shops had an exemption to open over Easter weekend.

For more details or to set up an interview with Retail NZ Chief Executive Carolyn Young, please contact Carolyn on 021 449 452.

For the latest Retail NZ Media Releases click here.

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