The Whakatāne District Council is to undertake an initial ‘pre-consultation’ process over the next fortnight to gather information on retailer and community Easter Sunday trading preferences.
The targeted consultation process will seek feedback from Eastern Bay Chamber of Commerce members, and involve an on-line survey for shop-owners throughout the District. Social media engagement with the wider community will also be undertaken via the Council’s Facebook page.
The feedback provided will be reported back to the Council’s Policy Committee on 5 October, at which stage a decision will be made to either put forward a draft policy for community consultation, or not pursue a policy at this time.
The Shop Trading Hours Amendment Act 2016 allows councils to adopt a policy which would permit shops to open on Easter Sunday in all, or specific parts of their districts. The Council decided not to ‘fast-track’ the development of a policy in December 2016, which would have provided retailers the choice of opening on Easter Sunday this year.
If a decision is made to proceed with a draft policy, a formal community consultation process will be undertaken between 6 October and 6 November, with any submissions heard by the Policy Committee on 14 November. A recommendation would then be made for the full Council to consider on 7 December.