A nationwide garden centre chain that "cynically" flouts
trading laws by opening for business on Good Friday every
year has vowed to continue the illegal trading, despite today
being hit with maximum fines.
Oderings opened five stores in Christchurch and outlets in
Havelock North, Napier, Upper Hutt, Hamilton, and Palmerston
North on April 6, Good Friday, this year.
Today at Christchurch District Court, a judge said there was
no reason he shouldn't impose the maximum fine of $1000 for
each breach of the trading law.
Judge Raoul Neave described Oderings' move as a "cynical
piece of offending", adding that the firm was "blatant in its
intent to disregard and defy the law".
Oderings were fined $10,000 on each charge plus court costs
The Christchurch-based garden centre has opened on Good
Friday every year since 1970 and say it's a crucial retail
day for the company.
They claim that the maximum $1000 fine - which it gets almost
every year - is worth the risk.
When the case last called, Judge Gary Macaskill said the
Government's labour service should take stronger legal steps
to stop businesses from flagrantly flouting public holiday
"I noted some time ago that if the Department of Labour was
serious about nurseries and other similar business opening on
these days, then they should go to the High Court and ask for
an injunction to stop them from doing so. But they don't, and
one wonders why," Judge Macaskill said.
Oderings director Darryn Odering today said the judges were
entitled to their "outdated opinions".
But his company believed it was "a bad law", adding: "We will
continue to open on Good Friday."
"Who suffers? The customers don't, our staff don't. Nobody
does. It's simply a bad law," Mr Odering said.
"I was working at our Barrington St centre this year and we
had more than 1000 customers. We were bloody busy. If the
demand wasn't there, we wouldn't do it."
The Labour service, now part of the Ministry of Business,
Innovation and Employment, said it takes steps to enforce
shop trading hours rules in accordance with the legislation
that Parliament has provided.
"The fines awarded represent the maximum penalty available
under the legislation," a spokesman said.