This is why the Supermarket Duopoly must be smashed!


The decision by Foodstuffs to kill off NZ caught fish for the long arm of transnational mass food manufacturers is an economic self mutilation that is just another reason why the State needs to enter the Supermarket Duopoly.

It’s outrageous that we won’t be able to eat our own fish caught here in some of the most pristine oceans because Foodstuffs will cut a better deal with Alaskan Pollock processed in bloody China!

This is a strategic food resource we should be protecting rather than have over to Chinese processors!

That Foodstuffs would damage such vital food sovereignty for profit is a reminder why we need the State to step in.

The lie of neoliberalism is that unregulated markets lead to competitive utopia.

They don’t.

They lead to an elite corporate oligarchy who ensure their dominance via duopoly or monopoly. A plutocratic cartel who amputate monopoly rentals from the economy and call it business.

The brutal strength of the State is required to step in and break up such cartels when they bubble to the top and that’s exactly what the Commerce Commission has demanded.

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Covid taught us food security matters and a Supermarket chain that embeds a cheaper food security while supporting local supplies is a necessity to correct a broken market!

Government should enter into a deal with Iwi to stock a new chain of Government/Iwi Supermarkets that champion local produce at better prices for the consumer and

We need a kiwi subsidy on all local produce to recognize that producers have already used water and created local climate changing gases to create their product and as such consumers have already paid a price just to get the product to their table.

We should feed the 5million here first before boasting about feeding 40million world wide!

We start by buying our fish local.


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  1. Why add iwi in to the supermarket mix -adding another layer of nepotism?

    At some point NZ is going to realize what this stupid co governance woke crap is going to do to the country, and good luck on that day.

    Otherwise I largely agree about unregulated markets being bad for anyone except those with capital who then distort the market to suit themselves.

  2. The analysis is spot on, though I wouldn’t go with state owned/run alternatives unless it was on the original northern english co-op model (including the annual ‘divvy’).
    Rather bring over Aldi or Lidl they have supply lines across Australia so extending here is a small jump.
    Bribe them (lots) like film companies, give them free land, hell confiscate some of the duoplolys land banks (designed specifically to stop other retailers building).
    They employ less workers than other supermarkets that’s true but have a rep for treating workers a bit better.
    Europian food standards would be a massive step up for NZ and the consitency of product through their supply chains is their business model, you can’t palm crap food off on the krauts, dutch etc. imagine a Moore Wilsons standard of goods at knockdown prices….ask an aussie or a yank or anyone in europe.
    Lastly in OZ they slashed grocery bills much to the chagrin of their duopoly.
    Initially they’d probably only go for major centers but once here govt encouragement to spread out could be applied.
    What do we really need another grocery player or a scandi furniture store?

    • I agree.Many years ago I wrote to Matt McCarten (he was a strategist)suggesting he promote giving incentives to encourage Aldi and or others to enter the market.=not interested.

    • Martin
      go back read and understand rather than just rightwing knee-jerking, ta appreciated

      ‘They employ less workers than other supermarkets that’s true but have a rep for treating workers a bit better.’

  3. I tried the Canadian pollock last week and I certainly cannot recommend it. I won’t be buying it again, though of course it may not just be the poor old pollock’s fault that it lacks flavour; the problems may lie in the processing.

  4. Sadly, we’ve been down this track before, on many fronts. Petrol and groceries have been spoken about by successive governments for their price gouging. Sadly it stops there, at the “spoken about” stage.

  5. Sealord has eight fishing boats. The rest they contract out to Koreans who man their boats with Indonesians & Filipinos in appalling living and working conditions. This is an iwi owned organization that previously fought the Key government over the imposition of standard NZ health & safety rules on boats working within our borders because they thought preventing legs getting torn off in winches would cost them a dollar. So don’t go clutching your pearls over the fate of Sealord.
    As for the supermarkets, if they were profiteering, I’d expect to see them deliver a decent dividend to shareholders, not the 4% they announced recently.

    • Yup – and even at 4% – 5% EBIT, the commerce commission is all over them, literally accusing them of being robber barons.

      • because they are, shit, when even a neo-lib bastion like the CC admit it

        …and remind me what is the dollar figure for their profits year on year? now if they choose to not pass that shedful of lucre on to their shareholders maybe aforementioned shareholders should take that up with the ‘bonus committee’ of the board of directors..dontcha think?

  6. Firstly there needs to be a Fair Pay agreement in the industry – currently Countdown and some North Island Foodstuffs stores pay at least $2 an hour more than Foodstuffs South Island yet charge the same price for the same goods. These SI owners shared over $300m in dividends from Foodstuffs SI and the profits made in their actual stores. Check out operator in Invercargill with 25yrs service is on 20c above the min wage.
    Competition is need but not by the normal neo liberal way i.e. the cost of labour. Stop the exploitation and lets sort these gready bastards out.

  7. Still banging the drum of a Govt owned supermarket Martyn.
    How cheaper do you think it will be? You seem to be under the impression it will be hugely cheaper and practically giving goods away.
    3 points:
    1: Have you ever known a Govt of any flavour to pour money into something commercial and not get the money back…and then some.
    2: Have you actually done the figures, looked into how much cheaper it would/could be Vs the established supermarkets (remembering you would no doubt be shouting for a living wage for every worker rather than minimum wage)
    3: You would no doubt be happy for it to run at a loss, or no oversight on costs Vs outcome – Not unlike the 50mil Maori TV costs the taxpayer a year with no outcomes available (viewing figures, where the money is spent/salaries)

    Not gonna happen, no Govt would ever contemplate opening/owning a supermarket!
    Now if Aldi or Lidl, perhaps some other cheaper european supermarket company decide to open in NZ then bingo!

  8. State owned supermarkets would be a disaster.
    Look what happened in Eastern Europe empty shelves and what was there the people couldn’t afford.
    As I’ve said before I lived there, by comparison NZ is utopia.

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