Restrictions on trading over Easter have frustrated Auckland retailers desperate for business in the wake of four Covid-19 lockdowns.
Only shops selling certain goods can legally trade on Easter Sunday, and those breaching conditions can be fined up to $1000.
But Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says critics have left it too late, as the process to change trading rules can take over a year.
Local government has had the power to rule on whether retailers can open on Easter Sunday since the National government passed the responsibility down in 2016.
Prior to this, only shops that sell necessities, such as dairies, service stations, and pharmacies, were given exemptions to trade.
Thirty-nine of the country’s 67 councils have created bylaws to date allowing retailers to open if they want, but Auckland, Wellington, and other major centres remain opposed.
Newmarket Business Association chief executive Mark Thomas said the restrictions are “ridiculous and out of date”.
“There are so many discrepancies in the law it seems a bit ludicrous,” he said.
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Downtown Auckland is going through huge transformation with its various streetscape and transport projects. But in stark contrast, several plots of land worth hundreds of millions of dollars have sat as car parks since buildings were knocked down in the 1980s.
The Elliott St car park sits on a 4417 square metre plot of land, valued at $82.5 million.
The land has sat undeveloped as a car park - where an hour will cost you $19 - since the Royal International Hotel was demolished in 1987.
It was purchased by Singapore company NDG Asia Pacific (NZ) Limited for $53m in 2012, and in 2017 the company was given approval by the Overseas Investment Office to build and operate a 52-storey, five- star Ritz-Carlton Hotel, with 300 guest rooms, four floors for hotel facilities, six for retail and five for car parking.
The development is expected to cost $350m, with the start of construction dependent on the completion of City Rail Link. However, the resource consent for the tower is due to expire in October.
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So, please if you know of a person/company who are gate builders- please let me know. (Picture of damaged gate)