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Newmarket Business Association chief executive Mark Thomas said the restrictions are “ridiculous and out of date”.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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Kia ora neighbours. Rangers fear stoats at Shakespear Regional Park may have had a severe impact on the pest-free sanctuary’s tīeke population.
The park, on Auckland’s Whangaparāoa Peninsula, is a sanctuary that provides wildlife, such as little spotted kiwi, robins, whiteheads, and hihi (stitchbird), with a safe and pest-free habitat.
However, a stoat was detected in the sanctuary at the end of 2020. It later gave birth, and two of its kits – a male and a female – were caught in traps.
Then, in January, thermal camera imaging suggested there were still stoats in the sanctuary, including the mother.
On Thursday, the council’s senior ranger at the sanctuary, Matt Maitland, said three more stoats had been captured, including two males and a female. It's believed one more stoat remains at large.
The sanctuary’s tīeke (North Island saddleback) population has been “severely impacted” by the stoat outbreak, Maitland said.
“This is the most significant excursion to date.”
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