Strategic planning is necessary if you plan to hit the shops this long Easter weekend, with statutory holidays, non-trading days and exemptions often creating confusion.
Good Friday and Easter Monday are both statutory or public holidays, while Friday and Easter Sunday are non-trading days, meaning shops that trade without being specifically exempted are liable to prosecution and a fine if they trade.
Restaurants with on-licences can open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday for dining purposes, but customers cannot buy a drink without a meal.
Marlborough District Council democratic services co-ordinator Mike Porter said cellar doors could trade on Easter Sunday, as long as they only sold wine that was made on the premises or harvested from the land it is sited on.
Wine sold at the Classic Fighters air show, which opens on Friday at the Omaka Aerodrome, was an exception, because the event had been granted a special licence, he said.
For green-fingered shoppers, an amendment to the Trading Hours Act passed in 2001 allows garden centres, many of whom previously risked heavy fines for opening their doors, to trade on Easter Sunday, but not Good Friday.
Supermarkets in general cannot open on Friday or on Sunday, but Picton SuperValue will be open on Friday because Mariners Mall has an exemption.
Many Marlborough cafes and restaurants will be open for the entire holiday weekend, although some will close on Monday.
Because of the statutory holidays, it is likely that those dining out around the region and the country will be hit with a surcharge of between 15 and 20 per cent at many establishments on Friday and Monday.
The Department of Labour has warned that inspectors will be visiting retailers around New Zealand on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Retailers that do not fit into any of the exemption categories and trade on either of Easter's non-trading days can be liable for a fine of up to $1000.
Good Friday and Easter Sunday are two of the 3 1/2 days a year that most New Zealand retailers are required to close under the Shop Trading Hours Repeal Act 1990.
Christmas Day and Anzac Day until 1pm are also non-trading days.
A limited number of areas around the country, generally tourist towns such as Queenstown and Taupo, are exempt from trading restrictions. Some shops in these areas can open on restricted days, but only if allowed by the exemption order.
What can open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday?
Dairies. Pharmacies. Real estate agencies. Restaurants, takeaway bars and cafes. Service stations. Shops at public transport terminals or stations. Shops in premises with exhibitions and shows. Shops providing services rather than selling goods for example, video/DVD rental shops, hairdressers. Souvenir and duty-free shops.
What can open on Easter Sunday but not Good Friday?
Cellar doors, selling particular wines. Garden centres.
- The Marlborough Express
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