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The Dunedin City Council voted 10-5 for the policy, with a plan to review it after 90 days appearing to get it over the line.
The policy went for public consultation earlier this year.
While the likes of supermarkets and hardware stores supported the policy, unions were bitterly opposed.
Unite Union organiser Sonja Mitchell asked councillors at a public forum before the meeting to think about the number of workers who would miss out on the Easter break, and the families who would also miss out.
"Everyone deserves a break and a chance for some time with their families.
"Can we all find something more exciting to do with our Easter weekend than shopping?"
However, the potential boost to business from the Ed Sheeran concerts over Easter appeared to sway councillors.
The review was a chance to put businesses on notice.
Mayor Dave Cull said if the council heard of abuses of employee rights, the right to open would be "gone".