Timaru retailers stick to rules

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 05:00 19/04/2014

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Easter Friday is one of just three and a half days each year when almost all shops are required to be closed, and it looked like Timaru businesses stayed within that law yesterday.

People spoken to by the Herald who had ventured out in the rain were pleased they could get something to eat.

Subrata Saha said he was pleased some cafes and restaurants were open.

"I think it's a good idea; people still need to eat and do things," he said.

He would not like to see employees forced to work if they did not want to, he said.

Sarah Thompson would like to see trading hours optional.

Under the Shop Trading Hours Repeal Act 1990, Good Friday, Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, and Anzac Day until 1pm, are restricted trading days.

The only goods allowed to be sold are food, drink, household items and personal items, petrol, oil, car parts and accessories.

The items are those consumers cannot put off buying until the next day, such as baby formula or pet food.

The quantity of goods for sale should be no more than needed to meet the needs of people in the area.

A Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spokesman said that when it came to the food industry, takeaway places and eateries were allowed open because they sold prepared or cooked food "ready to be consumed when purchased".

Real estate agencies and pharmacies have no conditions as they do not fit within the definition of goods as defined by the act.

Good Friday is the only Easter Weekend day that garden centres are not allowed to open.

Shops that illegally open are liable for a fine of up to $1000.

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- The Timaru Herald

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