Easter Friday, Sunday and Monday are probably the most important days in the Christian calendar. For this reason, these days have been bank holidays in New Zealand since 1873 and then they became holidays for most workers. However, in recent years, fewer people say that they are Christian – 54% in the 2006 census. About 5% say they have a different religion, not Christian. Another 34% say they have no religion. Some people did not answer that question. It is too early to know what this year’s census shows.
The Holidays Act allows restaurants and cafés to add a 15% surcharge to your bill on Good Friday and Easter Sunday because it costs more to pay staff on holidays. Shops have to close on these days also except for dairies and shops in tourist towns like Taupo and Queenstown. Garden centres are allowed to open Easter Sunday because people like to garden on holidays. However, one garden centre with shops throughout the country, always opens Good Friday also. They have to pay a fine of $1,000 for each shop but they have so many customers those days that they make more than $1,000.
Listen to April 5th 2010 to hear more about Easter shopping.
• surcharge – an extra fee