Supermarket Duopoly so frightened of regulation they conjure up Auckland Volcanos


How frightened is the greedy Supermarket Duopoly that regulated capitalism is going to be forced upon them?

This frightened…

Auckland’s volcanoes among reasons not to mess with supermarkets, says Countdown

The risk of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions interfering with food supplies should make the Commerce Commission think twice about splitting up the country’s major supermarket chains, Countdown says.

The competition watchdog will decide by early March whether to recommend the Government helps make way for a third supermarket group by requiring Countdown and Foodstuffs to sell some of their stores and split their distribution and retail operations.

In its final submission on the commission’s market study into the $22 billion groceries industry, made public just before Christmas, Countdown said it was “deeply concerned” about what it described as some of the more interventionist options canvassed by the regulator.

…the greedy supermarket duopoly is so frightened that actual moderated, regulated capitalism is coming that they have had to try and evoke an Auckland volcanic eruption to hold onto their market dominance!

This year inflation will cripple the poor, Jacinda can’t merely pull a concerned face, turn her head and nod empathetically as inflation guts the poor!

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Poor Kiwis who were promised transformation in 2017 and got a clawed back welfare payment of less than $5  a eeek deserve more!

The Government stepping in and regulating capitalism properly to end monopolies and duopolies at a time when inflated food prices are crippling is the right move.

Kiwibank changed the banking environment for the better, the Government supermarket could do the same!

With State and Iwi backing we could get a Supermarket chain that pays workers the living wage, pays producers a fair price for their product AND provide lower prices for consumers.

Fuck the Australians, fuck the greedy kiwi Bosses and fuck their imaginary Auckland Volcanoes – National lets the dogs of free market capitalism off the leash while Labour puts them back on the leash!

This is what regulated capitalism looks like!

With food prices inflating dangerously, people need more than just the ability to endure, they need hope and the hope that a 3rd party stepping into supermarkets to provide lower prices is the holy grail of hope.

Labour need to step up now.

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  1. “Jacinda can’t merely pull a concerned face, turn her head and nod empathetically as inflation guts the poor!”

    Well, she does that quite a lot actually. Recall the coutcry on exorbitant petrol prices? That affect the less well off significantly more. Lots of concern shown back then. Lots of head tilting and frowning. I think even the Faff was deployed to look at the fuel cartels, call for reports, make all the right noises. What did we get? Gas stations now proudly display the rip off prices of all octanes of fuel and that’s it. Soooo 2018, got bored with that. Plus Aucklanders pay 11 cents per litre on top of the rip off prices for Auckland Council to spend on judder bars and more judder bars.

    I’ll believe the government really care when a third player opens their doors and not a minute before. Probably around the time Michael Woods Simpson’s inspired Monorail scheme takes to the sky. Or was it the London underground on weight loss medication? Or lightrail to Mt Roskill by when was it again…yes, that’s right, last year. It’s so hard to connect the fantasy with reality nowadays!

  2. Commerce Commission should not get involved in regulating the supermarkets. If people can’t afford supermarket prices, they should get better paying jobs or let them eat cake!

    • @Anna, minus one.

      Commerce Commission has been asleep at the wheel on supermarket behaviour and the price of food has been driving inequality in NZ. There are now record people who need food banks in NZ and NZ supermarkets and food regulations and policy that keeps small operators from selling food directly is part of the problem.

      Can the supermarkets pay back all the wage subsidies that their employees need from WFF and accomodation benefit, welfare top ups, as sick of subsidising the corporate supermarkets that charge a fortune to consumers and then get government money for their staff wages!

      Supermarkets pay their employee so little while impoverishing more and more people in this country and making record profits.

      Supermarket owners banking super profits, NBR Rich List shows

      Hopefully Commerce Commission will fine supermarkets for cartel and anti competitive behaviour to their suppliers and customers as well. It is also now illegal (finally) for NZ companies to engage in price fixing and monopoly behaviour.

      Hopefully a wake up call, as the NZ is so small that we have an epidemic of bad behaviour that is rampant in NZ, not publicised by huge conflicts of interest with NZ media who are paid to support the supermarkets positions.

      Ripping off consumers has now become the norm in NZ while not talking about it in MSM.

      Time the commerce commission got some teeth, and started investigating and prosecuting the major beneficiaries and controlling companies of industry in NZ and the government backs them to do it.

      We will all be better off with a clean out of bad policy and behaviour rampant in NZ.

      We can’t build a house anymore or afford to buy food. What is next?

    • Anna. I guess you’re being facetious here, but if you are one of the Bill E and John Key apostolate, then surely the answer is to bring in more rich immigrants who CAN afford the exorbitantly high food prices.

      ( PS. That “ let them eat cake “ quote of poor Marie Antoinette’s is, as usual as out of context as Sartre’s “ Hell is other people”, tossed around by gits trying to look intelligent – the boulangeries of Paris are a famous historical entity which you cannot even begin to compare to a crappy supermarket owned by another immigrant – just leave the French out if this, and stick to your spaghetti toppings.)

  3. Oh Anna – crawl back under ya rock babe. Maybe you disagree with more regulation but your lack of empathy for people doing it hard is disgraceful. I hope ya don’t choke on ya silver spoon that’s still wedged in ya gob.

    • One assumes that Anna forgot to put /sarc at the end of her comment. If not, at least Marie-Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution, was able to use ignorance as an excuse for her, “Let them eat cake” comment.

  4. House prices
    Child poverty
    House building + Social housing
    House prices
    House prices
    It’s been time to step up for quite a while with no sign of the foot lifting.
    The poor getting poorer has not been a particular concern of this administration up until now.
    I predict nothing will happen, but we will hear lots of words…

  5. Denounce Capitalism and government regulate prices of all goods sold by these two globalised monsters.

  6. Remember sketchy jonky and his cadre of pseudo fascists changing the definition of goods that could be bought at ‘farmers markets’? Seeds and sundry other agri-foods are now deemed ‘controlled substances’ requiring permits to sell etc and blah.
    Fuck the food-pusher super markets. Go to the markets or directly to the growers instead.
    BTW? Remember those awesome road side stalls selling export grade fruits and vegetables?
    You don’t? Then give the Apple and Pear Marketing board a call and ask them what they did with and to them. Big Puff SIR jimmy wattie could have helped with those inquiries.

  7. Made me laugh, the same arguement could be used to nationalize em idiots.

    Needs a third player for sure Aldi or similar who run a different model would really change things.

    • I have a “little” experience with Supermarkets and it should come to no surprise that I will never set foot in any Countdown again, those Aussie assholes…Truely horrid people. Foodstuff supermarkets are owner operated so there’s a huge variance between them all.

      Yes the owners are very wealthy, but they’re smart, work huge hours and supermarkets are ridiculously expensive to set up, if you’re going to pour $10-20 million plus into a Pak n Save, you want to make sure it’s profitable. And Setting up one Aldi for example just wouldn’t be cost effective, you’ll need at least a dozen. Good luck dealing with the plethora of councils getting that done. If it could be done, do you not think it would have been done?

      We all know what’s going to happen…nothing. Actually if we look at housing, we’ll be probably worse off knowing this govt.

      • that’s exactly why you make it an ‘executive decision’ like building airfields in wartime…and yes the duopolys gouging is that important for most kiwis.

        but yes your right nothing will happewn too many brown envelopes left in too many pidgeanholes.

  8. The Commerce Commission is part of the problem. They are not as ethical and independent as they should be. The Commerce Commission previously allowed Foodtown to be swallowed up by Progressive (who own Countdown) and hence entrench such monopoly/duopoly power in NZ’s supermarkets. Similarly the Commerce Commission also allowed Z to take over Caltex NZ to also further entrench Z’s dominance in NZ’s retail fuels sector. To properly solve the problem, the Commerce Commission needs to be improved to serve the interests of people rather than commercial groups.

    Given NZ’s tainted history, I suspect govt would be incapable of solving this supermarket duopoly problem which was created by successive NZ governments (both Labout and National). Forcing Progressives and Foodstuffs to sell off certain stores isn’t going to create more competition. It will simply replace one form of oligopoly (the existing duopoly) with other forms of oligopoly (3-poly? or 4-poly?).

    From a practical viewpoint, I’d suggest that the miscellaneous other category would need to be as significant or more significant in terms of market share than any of the future 4 or 5 big players if NZ wants to approach real competition which would have the effect of removing abnormal/supernormal profits. This will take over a decade to achieve regardless of govt regulation.

    • Great comment, although I think making the supermarkets sell stores will be a wake up call to stop the growing duopoloy situation. Most people don’t have the time or petrol money to shop around, they need supermarkets at convenient places so that would do a bit to help solve that issue. But clearly not the only issue as this segment is broken and taking over everything, including the ability of those who make food like farmers to be able to make a living from their farms and have some control over who they sell too. They need to give a lot more support to whistleblowers from being sued or punished by supermarkets.

  9. there is an oppertunity here, as the disaster that is brexit forces europian grocers (I’m thinking aldi but lidl or others would do just as well) out of the UK they might be more open to other admittedly small markets like NZ, aldi already have a well established supply chain in oz so extending that across the tasman is no biggy.
    Will we need to bribe them with free land (take some of the duopolys landbanked sites) and tax concessions, you bet we will but we have no problem shovelling bribes to hollywood…what’s the diff?
    At the end of the day aldis entry into the oz duopoly cut grocery bills by approx 15percent I need no further arguement.
    An additional benefit would be because they have continuity across their supply chain to europian standards they would be providing better food than the current low quality provided by the duopoly…defend the plastic blocks we call edam – now defend it to a dutch person—darezya.
    ….now proper europian standard products at below duopoly prices I call that a win for everybody…..except the lazy duopoly…..and for the rightards an example of captalist competition in action.

    I personally have no skin in this game but am very partial to german gingerbread…..but hey a french retailer would do just as well.

    the govt run supermarket is a red herring floated by the right in order to be dismissed with a ‘well we can’t do anything’ thus avoiding even discussing the obvious solution…

    but hey the LINOs are rejoicing at the thought of an IKEA in auck, flat pack furniture is sooooo much more important than food dwarlink…so that’s alright.

    • Gargarin. Kirkaldies in Wellington had a good small grocery section, then it was sold to Australians and – whoosh – it vamoosed. A Fortnum and Mason wouldn’t go amiss here either, and one of my most memorable winter meals was sausages, gravy, mashed potatoes and mushy peas in a steamed-up cafe in a small town in Kent. Germans are also jolly good at making sausages, but Countdown, New World, and Pak’n’Save could be prosecuted for false pretences for the rubbish which they sell as sausages.

      Columnist John Bishop’s lament about driving around Wellington fruitlessly seeking a sausage roll in a petrol station, was just as likely a promotion set-up by his son the politician, just like wee Bill English did his valiant best for the things atop pizzas…while car boot kiddies risk malnutrition and ongoing health probs.

      • Lyons Corner shops were the stuff of dreams with added food vouchers. It became a haunt of mine when impoverished in 1968/70 on my OE. Their steak and kidney pudding with mash and peas cannot be replicated. It was our midday meal and staved off hunger on many a day.

        • Whispering Kate. How lovely to meet another mushy pea person. One of the supermarkets here does sell them in cans, and I think I bought one as part of my Covid quarantine stock. The local Bisto though, isn’t a patch on the Pommie gravy one, nor is local pork pie very authentic. I gather that most of our kidneys are exported to continental Europe, along with sweetbreads and such delicacies once scorned as offal. Cheap nutritious liver will be next gone.

          When I queried one supermarket butcher about kidneys he said they were too expensive to stock locally, and how much a pailful cost. In a another life I had Kiwi schoolboy students decoupaging those Kiwi kidney pails in Art and Craft classes, and a fine young fellow called Mark R painted all the interiors as well as any professional ever could, and they made great wastepaper ‘baskets.’

    • ” aldi already have a well established supply chain in oz so extending that across the tasman is no biggy.” – Kiwis can’t even get into NZ right now.

      • oh righttttt so no cargo at all is reaching NZ, how with modern JIT delivery are there any ozzy products in our shops? when there demonstrably are.

        an extraordinary situation now is an excuse for future inaction….

  10. no, but controlling their profiteering might help people to cope with the aforementioned inflation dontcha think?

    with the amount of personal debt the average NZer has, the overleveraged and credit card maxxed paying down their debts in the face of the inevitable interest rate rises, should reduce the disposable income going into the real economy thus constricting the money supply and ameliorating any alleged inflationary pressures…..not good for small business but as the right apart from t-shirt slogans don’t give a flying one for small business……..

  11. Sounds great……

    How many new homes were Labour going to build?

    Very good at making the right noises but…….

    • OHHHHhhh some, the number to be decided at a later (much much much later)date but hey rather than a national programme we will shovel money at individual developers because the market is working soooooo well.

      • Aaaaah now I know where Robertson’s famous ‘Shovel Ready’ comes from. It’s from shovelling money, not from getting shit done.

  12. Martyn
    To fix all this, to be really transformative, means doing radical things and making unpopular decisions. Jacinda was NOT voted in for being radical, but for being popular. That’s how she saved Labour. Don’t expect much and you won’t be disappointed. I’m not expecting much from National, nothing transformative for sure, even with Luxon now at the helm. When it would be so easy for him to be transformative and win the election. Politicians in NZ no longer want to change the world and thus truly serve and help the public, nor represent them properly. So nothing radical will happen soon, like granting consents to make it easy for other big supermarket businesses to set up. Remember Let’s DoThis? Now there is one sad empty slogan as it turns out. “More supermarkets – let’s do this.” See…transformative! Not that hard…
    just say it and say it often Jacinda! Commit to your own slogan!

  13. As I am now boycotting the local Countdown and NWS, I went to a nearby village Four Square. It changed hands last year. It now consists of row after row of alcohol, and few groceries and dry goods. I didn’t purchase tea, as there was little there, at too high a price, and bought only one item of food. This is war against the people.

    • Er…Four Square, New World and Pak n Save are all the same, basically Foodstuffs, so you may want to look a little further.

      Also it may come as a surprise to many but being in business means providing what your customers want…I know…outlandish hey?

      • BG. I knew Four Square was kin of New World, but I don’t know why they’ve suddenly upped their booze supplies; if it’s demand and supply, I guess the customers might be a bunch of drunks – or future-proofing. Maybe both. Pak ‘n ‘Save has better variety of meats and offal than NWS’s ever seems to, but one big Pak’nSave a few miles away plays such loud heavy bass music – presumably to cater for to their customer base – I don’t go there either ; NWS has at least stopped their female stridently instructing parents not to let their children fall out of trollies – kids falling out of trollies all over the place now – dozens a day- like sparrows out of trees…

        I’m not.sure if I can go much further afield for tea without leaving dry land. Ma used to buy it in foil-lined wooden boxes with sliding lids, so I’ll look into warehouse-type providers. The fancy gifted China teas don’t come in the greatest of sealed containers – when I tried using Chinese tea tins to make my famous square jellies, the liquid poured out of the bottoms.

        Kawakawa tea is another good option – free – I’ll start drinking more of it. Any herb.

        • Too true. But quite obviously the the reason for the meat difference is simply the Pak n Save will move far more meat than the NW ever would, their volume allows them to negotiate better pricing. Most Supermarkets are hit and miss on meat anyway…Countdown from memory has a centralised model, everything is run out of head office.

          • BG Yes, Countdown said everything came from head office when I asked them about their absence of black pudding. Couple of months after I filled in an online questionnaire, Countdown had about three lots of kidneys – fiendishly expensive, about the same as a pork roast special – one or other supermarket usually has pork specials. I watched the kidneys for a few days in case the price came down, but it didn’t, they vanished.

            The big ox kidneys which lend themselves to all sorts of family cooking seem to be a thing of the past, and I don’t expect to see them again.I boycotted pork for decades because of dodgy pig farming practices, and have stopped buying it again. Parents wanting kids to have a bit of decent meat to eat seem to be settling for processed products of questionable quality, as I did when living overseas. This is likely adding to the problem of obese children, and all the ensuing health problems.

            Add the change in the growing patterns of vegetables which I and others have been experiencing, and there’s too much food uncertainty as well as the exorbitant cost of buying it.

      • supermarket DUOPLOLY memo to BG

        except it doesn’t in a restricted market, it means buy this or F-off whatcha gonna do? shop elsewhere…here’s some news we got this sewn up and there is no alternative to me and my mate, that’s why 2nd class food costs 1st class price here in NZ. so just suck it up.

        yourS sincerely the impotent govt of NZ

    • difficult to decide what is and isn’t food, do lollies count or is it just anything that anyone eats ie-maccas etc…
      though I do think any tax on food is evil .

  14. Perhaps capitalist greed is the answer, we just need more.
    All the govt has to do is provide motivation to a 3rd party with the resources to provide genuine competition.
    Provide free or heavily subsidised sites (supermarkets) for 5 years, tax breaks, not hard to come up with a few medium to long term incentives to alleviate the high cost of entry to the market.

    Look at mobile plan costs today; and think back to when we only had Vodafone and Telecom….

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