Since it's Waitangi Day, a public holiday, we can safely expect that some retailers will charge an extra 15% on their goods and services. Here's why I'll be taking my custom elsewhere.
Charging an extra 15%, or any extra figure at all, is needless. Businesses face fluctuating costs all the time. Someone phones in sick and has to be replaced - the boss pays extra. Tomatoes cost more when they're out of season - the boss pays extra. I've never seen a cafe hit any one with a sick day or tomato surcharge.
Sure, these extra costs are ultimately passed on to the consumer, but they're averaged out over the financial year. And those businesses which are most labour intensive and have a smaller profit margin (like supermarkets, which rely on sheer volume of turnover rather than a high margin) don't apply a surcharge, even though they've got the most reason to. They know the public wouldn't tolerate it, so they arrange their pricing structure over the year accordingly.
So why do some businesses, noticably in hospitality, apply a surcharge? I think there are two reasons: simple opportunism, and a churlish protest against workers' entitlement to time and a half on public holidays.
Hospitality businesses want you to share their resentment at having to pay their (often female and young) workers time and a half for giving up their public holiday. They want to focus your irritation on the woman behind the counter because she's receiving an increase to her (usually pitiful) hospitality wage - although she's working on the day when everyone else is at the beach, hanging out with their kids or otherwise enjoying leisure time.
And if you've got kids, working on stat holidays is a particularly big deal. It's not much fun telling your kids that their Christmas Day will be different from everyone else's, because Mummy's working.
I refuse to pay the surcharge. I have no qualms about paying more for goods and services so that workers can be fairly paid, but I've got a big problem with businesses levying that increase on stat holidays only. That's just an attempt to recruit consumers into a backlash against fair treatment of workers.