Confused by trading rules

Last updated 10:44 09/04/2012

We had a pleasant surprise on Friday morning when we pulled into Kaikoura and found the whole place open for business.

I thought it would be the same as Blenheim and everything would be shut because of the Easter trading legislation. Kaikoura must be covered by the "tourist town" exemption to the law – either that or a lot of businesses are going to get a nasty letter from the Labour Department.

So Kaikoura was open for business and the place was quite busy, particularly with all the traffic going in both directions. We passed an almost constant flow of traffic going north, presumably people heading into the Sounds for Easter.

We'd also done quite a bit of "talent spotting" as we looked for all the Jaguars heading to Blenheim for the nationally rally at the weekend. What an amazing collection of cars, from vintages to what seemed to be the latest models, saloons to convertibles – and it was sure a great day to have the top down.

It was really the first time I've seen Kaikoura as a tourist town. Other times I've been there it has been a quiet time of the year, or most of the tourists must have been out doing tourist things. But on Friday the streets were lined with cars and vans and the shops and cafes seemed to be doing a pretty steady trade.

It was proof of the benefits for the town to get the Easter trading exemption.

Strange, yesterday, to have to be self-sufficient for a whole day and cook from the fridge, the freezer and the pantry. At weekends I usually go hunting and gathering once I've decided what I'm going to cook.

I had to do that on Saturday night instead, after a few hours on the road back from Christchurch.

We took Matt back down on Friday after a week of holiday from uni and on Saturday brought back the youngest after her first term at Otago.

Plans to be home by about 7.30pm kept sliding away as we lingered in Christchurch, and we finally left the shaky city about 5.30pm. So we pulled into the supermarket car park in Blenheim not long before closing in time to stock up for yesterday.

The best thing about Easter was not the eggs but the weather. Hasn't it been stunning? We checked the temperature about 3pm yesterday and, according to the MetService website, it was 22.3 degrees Celsius.

Maybe after such a dodgy summer, the rest of the year is going to be good to us. And maybe the grape growers will get all their fruit off the vines.

- The Marlborough Express

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