Differing opinions on Easter trading

Most councillors will vote according to public wishes on Easter trading, but not all are in favour of the idea. File photo.

Tauranga City Council missed the boat on Easter trading this year, but plans are in the pipeline to survey residents and find out what they want for Easter 2018.

However, elected members have different ideas about whether businesses really need to be open over the holiday.

Mayor Greg Brownless says, personally, he has no desire to go shopping all the time.

“I don't need to go shopping every day of the year. But I do respect the rights of those who do want to, and the shops that wish to remain open.”

He says central government have foisted this decision upon local government, with a caveat that public consultation should inform the decision.

“So it shouldn't be up to the individual opinions of councillors,” says Greg. “We should undertake consultation, see what comes out of it, and reach a final decision.”

Some councillors are opposed to Easter trading, but will vote according to what the public wants. Among them is Larry Baldock, who says the holiday is valuable for families and individuals to have a break.

“After travelling in more than 40 nations around the world I have had to make adjustments in my travel and shopping plans due to their many national holidays. I do not think it is a great crisis if tourists have to accommodate our holidays.”

Councillor Steve Morris personally observes Easter, but notes many residents do not and want the convenience of shops being open.

“We are surveying our residents on this issue and at this stage I'd expect broad support to allow trading and so I'd vote accordingly.”

Councillors Gail McIntosh, Rick Curach, and Max Mason are all in favour of Easter trading.

“We've missed an opportunity as the city will be buzzing this weekend with the Jazz Festival and Paradox bringing visitors to the Bay,” says Gail.

“I support consultation with the public, as we would with any policy change. If Easter is significant to some residents because of a religious connection then they can choose to not frequent businesses that choose to trade.”

Rick also thinks a restriction on trade based on religious beliefs seems outdated.

“I'm happy to go with the community's wish, as long as the feedback is from a fair representation of the makeup of the community as a whole.”

Max believes people should have freedom of choice about what they do with their Sunday.

“Nobody is being forced to shop or work in a shop. Personally, I dislike shopping and will first go to church and then spend the day at home with family.

“Public consultation is very important, but it's likely the community will be split on the issue. I will listen carefully, and if there are views I haven't considered I will take them into account when making my decision.”

However, Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout is opposed to the idea.

“I personally believe the two statutory days off are entirely appropriate over Easter. It's an ideal opportunity for retail workers to spend time with friends and family, and also observe this pivotal religious celebration if they so wish to.

“I do sometimes wonder why many people can't cope with a day or two without access to retail therapy, although I admit I am not a great shopper myself.

He says he believes public consultation is required, but would treat this matter as a ‘conscience vote'.

Downtown Tauranga chair Brian Berry says many local retailers would like the option to remain open.

“It's about choice. There is a certain retailing opportunity around Easter in Tauranga, particularly with the Jazz Festival. I think Rotorua, Taupo and Queenstown are areas where retailers are already allowed to open, to take advantage of that tourism opportunity.”

He says he would prefer council to simply approve Easter trading, without consulting the public.

“I would prefer for council to just give retailers the option. I'm not sure it requires a consultation process if you're being given a choice.”



12 Comments

How many are required to work regardless

Posted on 24-04-2017 00:07 | By Murray.Guy

How many are required to work regardless of Easter Trading laws. Nurses, doctors, transport operators, bus drivers, media, police, airport and security ... Can't work out the logic of making some activity, service providers unlawful, yet others okay. the argument in regards family time confuses as none are working 24/7, few working greater than 6 days a week and many with a minimum of a month a year to spend at their discretion. As for any 'religious significance', in 2017 most schools can't /won't mention' Christianity lest someone is offended.

Easter Sunday

Posted on 19-04-2017 06:51 | By Tyraone

Let the Businesses concerned decide for themselves if they wish to trade on Easter Sunday or not.

Why the Drama?

Posted on 17-04-2017 15:44 | By Seemore

Just treat it like Anzac Day: the morning is compulsory closure til noon then businesses can please themselves. I don't hear all this bleating about that arrangement; don't reinvent the wheel.

open to all

Posted on 17-04-2017 14:48 | By rosscoo

end of day not public decision, If businesses want to open there choice. they have to pay staff public holiday rates so if they open know one forcing people to shop if not want to. I don't go into a shop unless i need/want something in there.

@GreertonBoy

Posted on 17-04-2017 10:38 | By Taffy

All very well,but just remember it is usually the employees who have to work and I can tell you that the actual business owner in some cases is nowhere to be found working they take off.It is only a day the next thing will be that people will want shopping on 25th Dec and Good Friday .Plus all this B/s from the govt regarding employees will have the choice as to work or not Yea Right.In most cases alot of these employees are classified in the unskilled labour and if you don,t conform you can replaced easily or they just make life a little more unbearable for the person.I know from experience .There plenty of shops open to 10pm atleast once a week .Supermarkets 7am-10pm daily.Give the workers a little leeway.

Here's a novel idea...

Posted on 17-04-2017 02:22 | By GreertonBoy

How about we let the businesses decide? They are the people who need to decide whether or not to open. Some it suits to open, some who it doesn't. The politicians need to realise that some of us actually have to work for a living.... OUR days off are sometimes to only time we can go shopping because when the shops are open again, we have to be back at work. If it suits shops to be open, let them... butt out.

Poor ol' trucker...

Posted on 16-04-2017 17:11 | By Ammonite

... not reading the article before commenting.

Old trucker

Posted on 16-04-2017 14:29 | By waiknot

I here in the article does Steve Morris say that? My personal belief is everybody who is not affected by needing to work will say sure let's have the option to shop. Personally I like that the country shuts down for a few days. Even one day a week would be fine. Let families have family time without some members needing to work. Max Mason you say people don't need to work in retail? You speak from a position of privilege, not everyone is as fortunate as you.

Starnge

Posted on 16-04-2017 13:34 | By astex

Funny how the councilors are so keen to listen to what the public want with this issue but not the issues of Council buildings, Museums etc. How about some consistency?

here we go again

Posted on 16-04-2017 12:41 | By old trucker

Agree with CC8, this has been going on for yrs,it has nothing to do with councillors,these stiff shirts should keep their NOSE out of other peoples BUSINESS, these business people should be able to open when they want, they to have to pay rent and mortgage etc, TCC when have you EVER listened to the people here, you take NO NOTICE of US. You so called Councillors (Steve Morris ) how do you know that the people DONT WANT shop, Gail says we have missed out on this weekend trading because will fine you if you open,This is unfair to all Bussiness people wanting to open, TCC should back off and let people be, and mind their OB,MY THOUGHTS ONLY, Sunlive is the Best for News, Thankyou,10-4 out.

Time for Elected Few to listen to those who put them there.

Posted on 16-04-2017 12:36 | By tabatha

How much longer do we have to put up with the elected few running rough shod over those who voted or did not vote them not listening to people and in this case I strongly feel it is the shop keepers that need to have big say in the matter, yes workers need a break but there is ample safe guides for this. Please let us have the decision before too long and owners of shops can programme for it. As for an elected member letting his own beliefs stand in the way of others there is a time when beliefs have to bend for what the electors ask for. Abstaining is a better way then voting against.

So in spite of election promises

Posted on 16-04-2017 12:00 | By CC8

The Deputy Mayor is going to allow his personal BIAS to affect the way he votes ...instead of representing the whole of the community. Does this bias extend to other decisions made on OUR behalf?

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