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Easter Trading status quo

A Masterton District Council hearings committee has backed the status quo for the council’s Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy.

The policy allows shops throughout Masterton to trade on Easter Sunday if they wish to.

All shop employees have the right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday without providing a reason to their employer.

The hearings committee, which met on Wednesday, assessed 32 submissions from the public.

Of these, 18 submitters supported the policy, citing freedom of choice, and supporting the retail and tourism sector as reasons.

Twelve submitters did not support the policy, citing religious beliefs and allowing people to spend time with family and friends as reasons.

Two submitters indicated the council should change the policy so shops would only be allowed to open in certain areas of the district.

No one wanted to speak to their submission.

Mayor Gary Caffell said he supported the policy as it was and liked that it gave retailers and employees freedom of choice.

“I’m happy to stay the way we are.”

Deputy Mayor Bex Johnson agreed and said the policy gave people choice.

“Interestingly enough, Easter Sunday is a Christian celebration.

“It’s important to recognise people’s beliefs and faiths and diversity, but also too to point out that Christianity now represents less than 32 per cent of our population.

“If we’re going to acknowledge one faith, we have to acknowledge all.”

Committee members unanimously agreed to recommend that the full council continues the Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy without amendment.

Council meets next week to adopt the policy.

The policy was first adopted in February 2017.

It would next be reviewed in 2028. – NZLDR

    Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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