Do you think shops should be able to open for the whole of Easter?
As Marlburians count down the days until the Easter break, shops, restaurants and cellar doors are busy organising what days they will close to avoid getting hit with a fine.
While Good Friday and Easter Monday are both statutory public holidays, it is Good Friday and Easter Sunday that are non-trading days. This means shops that trade on these days without an exemption could face prosecution and a fine of up to $1000 if they trade.
Pak ’n Save Blenheim co-owner Mark Elkington came close to receiving a fine when he opened Blenheim New World, a supermarket he previously co-owned, on Easter Sunday in 2011. The Department of Labour gave him a warning.
Blenheim New World also received a warning for opening the supermarket in 2013.
Elkington’s partner Andrea Boock, also a co-owner of Pak ’n Save Blenheim, said this year they would be closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday, as required by law.
Foodstuffs group communications director Antoinette Shallue said New World Blenheim would shut its doors on Good Friday and Easter Sunday and would operate normal store hours on Saturday and Easter Monday.
Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, and until 1pm Anzac Day were the only days New Zealand shops were required to close under the Shop Trading Hours Repeal Act 1990.
The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 has the same restricted trading days. Off-licence liquor stores had to close on both days. Wino’s duty manager John Bartlett had extended hours on Thursday from 9am to 8pm – their normal trading hours on that day are 9am to 7pm.
The extra hour was to allow people the time to come in and get a bottle of wine before they close on Friday, Bartlett said. They also shortened their trading hours on Easter Monday.
Super Liquor Blenheim manager Paula Page said they were extending their opening hours on Thursday to make up for being closed on Good Friday. They would trade as normal on Saturday and Easter Monday but would be closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Liquorland Blenheim owner Warren Dillon said the store would be closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Cellar doors with dining areas are allowed to remain open during Easter weekend, however wine can only be served with meals on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. That meant people would still be able to enjoy a glass of wine at cellar doors but would not be able to take any home.
However on Easter Sunday, cellar doors are allowed to sell wine if the fruit used to make the wine was grown or processed where their cellar door is located.
Cellar doors, which only offered tastings, must close on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, as they were considered off-licences.
Brancott Estate will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday, Giesen Wines will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, while Hans Herzog will remain open all weekend.
Restaurants with on-licences were also permitted to open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday but could only serve alcohol to people there for the purpose of dining. On-licences also had to be aware of time restrictions - people can not be present more than an hour before they start eating a meal or more than an hour after finished a meal.
The Cornerstone Bar and Restaurant owner Ryan McQuillan said the Blenheim bar would be open through Easter weekend.
‘‘We are open right the way through as in previous years. Of course we are restricted by liquor laws so we will close midnight on Thursday and Saturday.’’
On Good Friday and Easter Sunday they would only open the restaurant, McQuillan said.
Fairweathers duty manager Tineka Smith said they would also be closing at midnight on Thursday and Saturday.
Good Friday and Easter Sunday would be normal trading hours and it would be business as usual on Monday, she said.
Pharmacies are also allowed to open throughout the Easter break though some Blenheim chemists had chosen to shut up shop.
Unichem Mortimers and Frasers Pharmacy owner Kath Potts said they would only be opening on Saturday for half a day. They would close on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Wairau Pharmacy retail assistant Kaleigh Mackel said they would be closed all weekend, from Good Friday through to Easter Monday.
Rubbish bags and recycling crates scheduled for collection on Good Friday and Easter Monday would be collected on Thursday, April 17 and Tuesday, April 22.
- The Marlborough Express