Auckland Council has resolved to consult with communities and businesses on whether businesses should open on Easter Sunday from next year.
From Auckland Council:
Easter Sunday trading leads discussion at Governing Body meeting
The Government’s decision to delegate policy decisions allowing retail businesses to trade on Easter Sunday came before the Governing Body today with councillors opting to ask Aucklanders what they think about expanding shop trading to Easter Sunday.
Mayor Phil Goff said Easter Sunday trading is an important matter that people are quite passionate about and consulting Aucklanders on whether to keep the status quo or establish a policy allowing trading was the council’s unanimous decision.
“Considering Easter Sunday trading is not simply about religious observance. There are only three and a half days each year set aside purely for family time or when most people are not expected to work.
“We must consider whether we want that opportunity retained and we will listen to what our communities are saying before we make a decision,” he says.
The following is a digest of decisions made. The agenda is available on Auckland Council’s website and minutes will be added once confirmed. This meeting was alsowebcast on the council’s website and items are available on demand.
Items 1-10 are administrative items, excluding local board input which is summarised below. There was no public input.
Item 6: Petitions
Graham Saxon and Trish Deans of the Takapuna Action Group presented a petition relating to the disposal of land in Anzac Street, Takapuna, currently used by the Takapuna Sunday Market.
Item 11: Response to Easter Sunday trading legislation
The Shop Trading Amendment Act 2016 (the Act) came into force in August 2016. Under the Act, councils can now adopt a policy to allow shops in all or parts of their district to trade on Easter Sunday. Currently only some shops can legally trade on Easter Sunday.
Since August 2016, Auckland Council has been approached by some major retailers and individuals asking about council’s response to expand Easter Sunday trading.
Angela Dalton, chair of the Manurewa Local Board, and Lemauga Lydia Sosene, chair of the Mangere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board spoke strongly in opposition to the introduction of Easter Sunday trading (and on behalf of Lotu Fuli, chair of the Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board). They supported council engaging with the community before any decision is made because they placed a high value on community input.
The Governing Body considered the item and resolved to move forward with option one. Before making a decision, the council wants to provide an opportunity for Aucklanders to have their say on whether it should expand shop trading on Easter Sunday.
The council wants to make sure it strikes the right balance between opportunities for additional money to businesses and workers, and opportunities for people to spend time on other recreational and leisure activities.
Community engagement will commence in April 2017 with findings reported back to the Governing Body in August. If the Governing Body decides to pursue a policy, a proposed policy would be adopted by October 2017 for public notification and consultation carried out by December 2017. A final decision would be expected in February 2018.
Item 12: 2017 LGNZ Conference and Annual General Meeting
The Governing Body confirmed its representatives at the Local Government New Zealand Annual General Meeting and attendees at the LGNZ conference.
Item 13: Selection Process for the Demographic Advisory Panels
The process for selecting members for the Demographic Advisory Panels was noted.
The council received 326 applications for the five demographic panels which include the Disability Advisory Panel, Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel, Pacific Peoples Advisory Panel, Seniors Advisory Panel and Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel.
Option One in regards to Easter Sunday Trading:
- If option one is approved, staff will:
- commence community engagement starting in April 2017
- report the findings to the Governing Body by August 2017 for a decision on whether or not to retain the status quo or adopt a policy
- if the Governing Body decides to pursue a policy, a proposed policy would be adopted by October 2017 for public notification
- undertake a special consultative procedure by December 2017
- final decision by February 2018.
That the Governing Body:
a) approve community engagement on whether to:
i) retain the status quo, so that only shops currently able to trade on Easter Sunday will continue to be able to do so, or
ii) adopt a policy that will allow shops in all or parts of Auckland to trade on Easter Sunday from 2018.
Certain shops are already allowed to trade on Easter Sunday
- Under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 only certain shops or shops in certain areas have exemptions that allow them to trade on Easter Sunday. Shops legally allowed to trade on Easter Sunday include:
- service stations
- restaurants and cafes
- take away food shops
- duty free stores
- garden centres
- shops at public transport stations or at shows or exhibitions
- certain services (e.g. hairdressers, video rental and real estate agencies).
- A historic exemption issued in 1989 also allows shops in Parnell Road in Auckland to trade on Easter Sunday.
- The occupier of a shop not allowed to trade could be liable for a fine of up to $1000 for trading on Easter Sunday.
- The labour inspectorate of the Ministry for Business and Employment (MBIE) is the enforcement agent.
- Easter Sunday is not a public holiday. Employees are not entitled to be paid time and a half or to an alternate paid day off.
Legislation now allows councils to develop a policy to allow for Easter Sunday shop trading
- The Shop Trading Amendment Act 2016 (the Act) came into force in August last year. It enables councils to adopt a policy to allow trading on Easter Sunday in all or parts of their district. It also sets out the following parameters:
- all shop workers have the right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday, and can bring a personal grievance if they are compelled to work or treated adversely for refusing to work
- councils cannot decide shop trading hours, liquor licensing parameters, and the types of shops that can open
- councils cannot require shops to open, this is the choice of each business
- councils must use the special consultative procedure under the Local Government Act 2002 to adopt, review or revoke a policy
- a council’s Easter Sunday trading policy must be reviewed five years after it was created
- the full council must decide to adopt a policy.
Community engagement is due to start next month.
Will update on this continues to work its way through.