July 28 2017, updated 12:25am

Dozens of shops flout Easter trading rules

Last updated 13:30 24/03/2008

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More than 34 retailers flouted Easter trading restrictions and face fines, the Department of Labour says.

Most retailers cannot legally trade on Good Friday or Easter Sunday but dozens of business opened their doors anyway, Department of Labour spokesman Iain MacLean said.

The department visited 34 businesses nationwide but limited staff numbers meant not all rogue retailers were caught, he said.

The penalty for illegal Easter trading was a fine of up to $1000.

Mr MacLean said the DOL would look at each retailer individually before deciding whether they would be fined.

Last year 46 out of 55 illegally trading shops were fined.

A poll released last week found almost two thirds of New Zealanders support the current ban on Easter trading.

The Research New Zealand poll found 64 per cent of New Zealanders supported the law forbidding shops to open, while 32 per cent wanted a change in the law allowing shops to open.

The poll found women were more likely to favour the current rules, with 73 per cent of females wanting the Easter trading hours to stay as they were, compared to 54 per cent of males.

Last week the Government backed away from making any changes to the law because there was a lack of consensus on whether changes should be made.

Business groups have criticised the present regulations but unions and religous groups have opposed any liberalisation.

-NZPA

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