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Public Holidays... Yay or Nay?

by Sheena Crawford, Consumer Marketing Executive, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

23 April 2014

Every Easter weekend there’s the same news story on Good Friday or Easter Sunday – should shops be allowed to open?  It’s actually a very fine line between what is allowed to open and what isn’t.  For example did you know that a hairdresser can open to provide a service and cut hair, but can't sell any additional products?  Similarly restaurants with on-licenses can open on both Good Friday & Easter Sunday but they cannot serve alcohol without a meal.  Are you confused? So how do you think a tourist feels? Imagine arriving into Christchurch on Good Friday and seeing stores open but you aren’t able to buy what is on their shelves, or a simply have a beer from a restaurant!

There are four "sacrosanct" days in New Zealand when almost all shops are required to be closed under the Shop Trading Hours Repeal Act 1990.  They are: Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Anzac Day – until 1pm.  I personally think this a law that should be upheld. Whilst workers are often more than happy to work for time and a half as well as a day in lieu, and owners can reap the benefits of being a lone Garden Centre that’s open, why not just enjoy a day off? Really it’s only three and a half days out of year where we can’t shop, so ‘stock up’ on food and chill out with friends, family or enjoy your own company!

However, if I put on my tourism industry hat, what does this all mean for our lovely visitors?  Are they confused about the days?  Angry?  Or do they accept our Public Holidays?

Did you know that a hairdresser can open to provide a service and cut hair, but can't sell any additional products?

Sheena Crawford, Consumer Marketing Executive

We would like to hear from you if you’ve had any feedback from visitors about our public holidays or whether you think this law is archaic and should be scrapped for 365 days a year shopping?


**Disclaimer. This is a personal voice from the author of the blog, and does not necessarily represent the official position of Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism.

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