Law change for Easter Sunday shop trading

The Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 was amended in 2016 to enable territorial authorities to decide whether retailers in their districts can open on Easter Sunday.

Under the new law, territorial authorities can introduce local polices for shop trading in their entire district or in limited areas on Easter Sunday.

Territorial authorities must consult their communities using the special consultative procedure on any local policy to allow shop trading on Easter Sunday.

Local policies cannot control or override shop trading provisions in other legislation, such as defining specific opening hours, liquor licensing provisions or determining what types of shops may open.

Shop employees have the right to refuse to work

Easter Sunday continues to be a day of significance across New Zealand and some people would rather not work on this day.

Because of this, all shop employees can refuse to work on Easter Sunday without any repercussions for their employment relationship.

There are requirements associated with this right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday for both employers and employees. Find out what the requirements(external link) are on our employment website.

Where to go for more information

Our employment website has more information as follows:

Information for employers and employees on shop trading days(external link)

Local policies of individual councils(external link)

Contact your territorial authority directly for more information about proposed local policies for Easter Sunday shop trading.

Related information

Cabinet paper: Easter Sunday shop trading amendment [PDF, 129 KB]

Regulatory Impact Statement: Easter Sunday Shop Trading [PDF, 400 KB]