The days when almost all shops must be closed under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 are:

  1. Christmas Day (a public holiday)
  2. Good Friday (a public holiday)
  3. ANZAC Day, until 1.00 pm on 25 April (a public holiday)
  4. Easter Sunday (not a public holiday)

However, territorial authorities (city and district councils) can put in place local policies that allow shops within their area, or parts of it, to trade on Easter Sunday. Whanganui District Council does not have a policy in place, meaning most shops are closed in the district on Easter Sunday.

The Shop Trading Hours Amendment Act 2016 already allows shops selling certain types of goods (examples include dairies, service stations, take-away bars, restaurants and cafes, and duty-free stores) to remain open on the restricted trading days, including Easter Sunday.

Some tourist centres also hold an exemption for Easter Sunday.