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Carterton okays Easter Sunday trading

By Chelsea Boyle

[email protected]

Carterton District Council have lifted the prohibition on Easter Sunday Trading, swimming with the tide of public submissions that were all in favour of the plan.

The policy gives retailers the choice to open, so long as employers give at least four weeks notice of that intention.

Carterton District Council Mayor John Booth said that submissions from industry representatives rightfully made note of an employee’s right to refuse to work on that day.

“I think that’s really important that that’s in there, and I would like to think all businesses will treat that with respect.”

Councillor Jill Greathead pointed to a submission by Doug Harris, which she believed summarised a key point well – “Easter trading will neither discourage nor stop those who want to worship”.

While it seemed like smooth sailing for Carterton, it could not be ignored that the council only received five submissions on the issue, only two of which were from Carterton residents.

The council’s planning and policy adviser Solitaire Robertson said the small response was “a little bit disappointing”.

Councillor Rebecca Vergunst said except for two people, it was hard to tell what Carterton residents thought of the proposed policy.

Councillor Russell Keys agreed there was not a lot of feedback on the issue.

Mayor Booth said: “People for whatever reason haven’t put pen to paper.”

However, allowing retailers to open on Easter Sunday appeared to be the favourite plan, he said.

Cr Jill Greathead said by moving forwards with the plan, council was “democratically letting our community and business owners decide how to approach it”.

Councillor Tracey O’Callaghan said it would be about “keeping eyes and ears open” to make sure nobody was under pressure to open.

The vote was passed unanimously.

Councillor Greg Lang was absent from the meeting.

Masterton District Council will be deciding whether to allow Easter Sunday Trading tomorrow.

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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