This year the New Zealand Department of Labour inspected 64 shops nationwide over Good Friday and Easter Sunday, 41 of which were open and now face possible prosecution.
This was more 2 than the number of shops prosecuted for opening at Easter last year and three more than 2010.
Under the Shop Trading Hours Act Repeal Act 1990, there are just three and a half days a year on which shops are required to close: Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and on Anzac Day until 1pm, unless they have exemptions.
Blogger Chris Ford says “ No one in their right mind (even retailers) are suggesting that we open up Anzac Day morning and Christmas Day to retailing. There is a consensus amongst Kiwis that these are important days for spiritual, social, commemorative or family reasons. But there have been attempts, mainly led by some retailers, to launch an onslaught on Easter trading laws in New Zealand in recent years.”
“Although I admit that church attendance and spiritual observance has declined for the majority of New Zealanders, this weekend is still held to be significant by the substantial minority of Kiwis who are practising Christians,” he says
“Also, even for those who are non-spiritual (such as myself) the four days of Easter provide the last chance to engage in either indoor or outdoor recreational, social or leisure pursuits before the onset of colder weather. Besides, Easter provides some respite from the endless commercialism of modern capitalism with its endless call to buy, buy, buy. To this extent, we even get two days where television and radio advertising is legally banned (today and Good Friday).”
News category: New Zealand.