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Auckland Council

Easter Sunday trading

Trading on Easter Sunday

Only shops selling certain goods can legally trade on Easter Sunday in Auckland.

These include:

  • service stations
  • dairies
  • restaurants
  • cafes
  • take-away food
  • duty-free stores
  • garden centres
  • shops on Parnell Road from 10am-6pm due to an exemption granted under Section 18(2) of the Shop Trading Hours Act (1977).

The following types of shops are not legally allowed to open for trade on Easter Sunday and could be liable for a fine up to $1000 for trading on Easter Sunday:

  • shopping malls
  • supermarkets
  • clothing retailers
  • appliance, computer and electronics shops
  • homeware shops
  • sports and recreation equipment shops.

Please contact Employment New Zealand on 0800 20 90 20 with any queries or complaints in relation to Easter Sunday trading.

Working on Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is not a public holiday.

If you are working on Easter Sunday you will be paid your normal rate - not time and a half or a paid day off (time in lieu).

You can refuse to work on Easter Sunday without giving a reason. If you receive unfair treatment for refusing to work, you can take a personal grievance.

You must follow specific processes if you are:

  • an employer wanting a shop employee to work on Easter Sunday
  • a shop employee who does not wish to work on Easter Sunday.

For more information on the rights of employees and employers, see:

What Aucklanders think about Easter Sunday trading

From May to July 2017 we asked Aucklanders what they thought about trading on Easter Sunday.

This feedback helped us make our decision on whether to propose a policy to allow all shops to open for trade on Easter Sunday.

How we gathered feedback

We used:

  • a demographically representative research survey
  • a public engagement survey
  • a Pacific Leaders Fono
  • key informant interviews
  • UPsouth.

We also received emails and a submission.

Feedback results

There was a contrast of views between a demographically representative research survey and a self-selecting public engagement survey:

  • 55 per cent in the research survey supported more shops opening.
  • 68 per cent in the public engagement survey supported the status quo.
  • Business highlighted the importance of the principle of freedom of enterprise, and protections in the Act for employees who do not wish to work if more shops were to open.
  • Churches, faith groups, unions, Pacific peoples and some Māori shared concerns for employees who would lose a guaranteed day off if more shops were to open and the need to retain time for rest, family, religious and cultural activities in support of the status quo.

​Law change on Easter Sunday shop trading

The Shop Trading Hours Amendment Act 2016 came into force in August 2016.

The Act gave Council the power to create a policy to allow shops in all or parts of Auckland to trade on Easter Sunday. Without a policy only certain shops can legally open for trade.

Our decision on Easter Sunday trading

On 24 August 2017, the Governing Body voted to keep the status quo.

This means that there will be no change to the current Easter trading arrangements.

We can review our decision not to adopt an Easter Sunday trading policy at any time.

No review is currently scheduled.

See the Governing Body meeting report meeting report and meeting minutes.