Dear Labour – why smashing the Supermarket Duopoly is your last chance


The cost of living crisis is hurting the very voters Labour promised to be transformative for.

The list of tax wonkery Jacinda descends into when listing the tinkering around the edges Labour has done that seems to believe everyone struggling is a certified tax accountant who are doing their taxes weekly is a farce.

The Left have done sweet fuck all for the material hardships of poverty, housing, inequality and climate change.

As I have pointed out tirelessly, while Labour saved us from Covid, they haven’t saved us from the ruthlessness of the under regulated free market.

I have argued over and over that we will see double digit inflation this year and that asking kiwis to endure more isn’t a political solution.

They need to hope that their basic costs will come down.

They need to believe a new Supermarket backed by the Government could do that.

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!

TDB Recommends

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!

Calls to ‘feed the 5 million first’ before exporting NZ food

People are going hungry even though New Zealand produces enough food to feed 40 million – and it’s spurring calls for the country to “feed the five million first”.

Almost 40 percent of New Zealand households experience food insecurity, while 19 percent of children live in households that experience food insecurity.

Poverty researcher Dr Rebekah Graham said while working on her thesis on food insecurity, she interviewed a woman who walked for 90 minutes each day to get a free community meal.

A state owned 3rd supermarket chain would do more for providing a cheaper means of living to all kiwis who have food security issues. It would do more for welfare than any single PM since Savage.

History is calling Labour. To date you have had nothing to show beyond crisis responses. We still have 190000 kids in poverty, over 22000 on emergency housing lists, growing inequality and a climate crisis with no real solutions.

A state owned supermarket chain that radically forced competition on base level cost of living for a vast swathe of New Zealanders would be a legacy worthy of Labour.

We need to be kinder to individuals and crueler to corporations.

As your poll numbers topple Labour, will you finally accept that some big vision projects are necessary and not just more tinkering?

The people are hurting economically, is the Left so bereft of ideas beyond middle class identity politics virtue signals that we have nothing to offer them?

As I have said time and time again, if you don’t want the poor to have their economic misery manipulated by the Right, then do something about their economic misery!


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  1. you’re right martyn but it’s about as likely as jacinda walking on water whilst whistling dixie and juggling a six place dinner service.

  2. I think it is ironic that we continue to describe the Labour Party as a party of the left when most of their policies are clearly centrist (at best). This Labour government’s continued application of neoliberal dogma is far from leftist. National are not much further right than Labour. If the Greens were ‘needed’ to form the government I am confident that things would be vastly different.

    I believe the only way Labour can break the supermarket duopoly is to enter a State-owned vendor because the opportunities for private entrants are massively hindered by the size of both current players. Whether there is the political will for this is yet to be established.

    • Thank the stars there’s at least one other person who understands that we are mislabeling people as “left” when they don’t resemble that in the slightest… Even to call the self absorbed brats that semm to be everywhere now as being “left” in their politics is a sick joke, and insulting to those of us who still remember what being left wing meant. Who are still able to remember when we had a union movement worthy of the name that won as many battles as they lost, and had a political party that had members that came from the unions, and from the labour movement… THAT was what left wing politics were fundamentally about.. The woke drivel that spoilt, self serving money grubbing children are spouting, which is doing nothing more than isolating us from each other, and utterly discrediting exactly the kind of politics, and thinking that turned NZ from being nothing more than Mother Englands dairy farm into a first world country that produced world class tradesmen, researchers, doctors, and all manner of entrepreneurs, and inventors. A country that had the balls to take on the heavyweights and win.. Where has all that gone? … Down the drain of exploitation capitalism.. To call those people who are happy to enrich themselves at the expense of the majority of the population “left” is laughably inaccurate, and i really wish smart people like the auther of this article would stop perpetrating this bullshit… We don’t have a government that even begins to resemble true left wing government, so stop calling them that.. When we have a “labour party” that doesn’t contain a single mp that arose from the union movement, then we don’t have a labour government, We have a “national light” government, and the only reason for me to continue supporting them, is because they are still abetter bet than a national party way past it’s use by date, and who will turn NZ into a living hell for the majority of Kiwis, without a single qualm… That is our only choice now. Try to force our own party to change for the better, or accept governance by traitors to their own people..

      • You’ve got a few issues with your analysis of the situation Stefan. Firstly most of NZ is in a living hell and the only true traitors are our present Labour government who lied to get elected, and the only social thing they’ve done is modestly rise the minimum wage which now is so far out of date hardly anyone mentions it. You suggest anything is better than National. I disagree, the Nats will do what Labour is doing now but with a bit of business sense. Labour have never understood that to produce good socialist policies you need lots of money. They’ve always thought money grows on trees , in my opinion. If we have the choice of the two existing centrist parties you better vote National or you’ll see the country go bankrupt like most of its inhabitants. It seems going by the polls I’m not alone. I agree with Martyn as regards the supermarket competition but for kiwis to get through the next twelve months Labour are going to have to ditch the tax on fuel. This is something that could be done immediately. The other stuff will take to much time. They haven’t got the guts or brains to do that.

    • There are so many meanings for ‘will’, verb and noun, that Labour must have found it so exhaustive that they got exhausted. And filed their policy announcements with instructions – ‘To fire at will’.
      Looking further it is an old word which goes way back:
      Old English willa (noun), willian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wil, German Wille (nouns), also to will1 and the adverb well1. Those were the days when people had to use their will to do things, to make them happen.

      Perhaps that is old fashioned now in this miraculous modern age where some device makes things happen for you. The political thinking is actually not too different from that of the protesters; make the problems go away, wave your magic device and make them vanish, we protesters have been given electronic magic, games and modelling; push a button and change the scenario. In one of the huge world stock exchanges decades ago a trader pushed a button and bought or sold unintentionally, the equivalent of NZs total annual income give or take an odd billion.

      So thanks to all of us, for trying to holding the strings of all the ballooning expectations of all the players in this mad game. The winner, at the end of the day with the largest balloon, gets a bucketful of tears cried by the previously unknown Iridescent Rainbow Mermaids of the Sea, now extinct, so priceless under Capitalism,
      which were surprised at their uniqueness, thinking that they were just more Myrmidons.

  3. I would not let this current Labour government run a corner dairy. Why would you lumber the street savvy Iwi operators with this lot of losers they are smart enough to run their own business . The land banking of the 2 major companies is what stops others getting in on the act but the main obstacle is the size of our population and the costs involved in distribution.If you water down the profit too much there will be no incentive to operate and then we go backwards.

    • Not true – land banking has been or will be resolved.

      As for distribution costs, a well managed DC in south Auckland can supply at least half of our population with minimal costs. Think Whangarei to Hamilton / Tauranga as this is what 50% of the NZ population?

      We are almost of scale as a country, IKEA and Costco arriving confirms this as their business models require a minimum population density and community wealth.

      It’s sad in a way as to fix the issue all the bicycling Theologian needs to do is pick up the phone to Aldi and ask them what they need to start in NZ and then work to make this happen. Putting Aldi stores into some of those empty shop in towns like Taihape, Greymouth or Kaitaia would break the duopoly apart but much more than that it would help so many of those that Labour used to care about.

      • aldis models of smaller shop size, limited stock line, high quality own brand lines and lower overheads would shoot the lazy fat bloated thieving duopoly out of the water.

        • And if they woule stock as much NZ produce as was feasible for their level of trading, that would be good. And not change to overseas brands or just cut out certain producers because the larger ones can swamp the space and offer bottom-shavng deals (Ewh)! If it is okay and people have decided they like it, support local with occasional forays extra at high holidays perhaps.

          • where ever they are they apparently use all fresh local produce but because of standardisation I suspect they use their own generics across the entire world…they tend to stock ‘brand’ products but with their alternative right beside…so yeah they might stock watties but right next to it would be aldis cheaper clone.
            they don’t have an american/uk range of choices, no 20 brands of ketchup just 2 or 3 but the selection in our supermarkets ain’t all that anyway

      • Making it an option of supporting some suitable practical and friendly local group, or an iwi wanting to serve, or get behind a family that would learn the skills of how to manage a food store, would be good. They would be have to be business -iike and respectful to customers but know how to deal with abuse. For years NZ has been dragging a significant number of people along instead of helping them to grow up good, and some are a bit feral now – left to their own devices, struggling for too long.

    • aldi have branches from tasmania to denmark in big/small ‘difficult’ countries….in effect we are a short trans tasman hop from aldis australasian distribution chain
      ….shares in pack and slave trev?

    • Well we are no where that situation Trevor. The margins are way higher for the big two here than they are in other countries, that’s been shown to be a fact not conjecture. Getting rid of restrictive covenants will certainly help too, I agree.

      I am not sure if the government should be a shareholder but don’t confuse stumping up cash to actually “running” the “corner diary”. I don’t see anyone bitterly complaining about Air NZ (ok Chris Luxon reducing destinations aside) despite the controlling shareholding by the govt (whoever is in power)

  4. A lone voice in the wilderness TDB!

    They’ve already gladly accepted the Commerce Commissions insipid recommendations. So weak are they one wonders why the ComCom exists or how it justifies it’s existence.

    But it suits Labour because there’s nothing for them to do but pretend they care. David Clark looked positively gleeful.

    And sadly it’s an opportunity lost for us and Labour!

  5. Perhaps what Labour need to do is to establish what the people think is strategic interests, and take steps to setting them up with minority private interests perhaps. They have popped on my lawn and I hate that. I’ll get them tracked down, capture them and put them in the dog pound till reparation made. And if no-one wants to claim them, perhaps they should be quietly put down.

    We don’t want to wait to be incited like this:
    1819 – A perfectly legal and peaceful meeting of Manchester workers, gathered in St Peter’s Fields to hear Henry Hunt (no relation to Leigh) talk about his ideas for reform of Parliament, was attacked by a troop of militia men, not professional soldiers, who slashed at these men women and children, killing and wounding. Shelley’s friend Thomas Love Peacock, sent him all the papers with accounts of what became known as the ‘Peterloo Massacre’. The Mask of Anarchy was Shelley’s response.

    In the UK poetry and Jeremy Corbyn:

  6. Agree Stefan this LP are not left in the weakest way and they do weak well. There is Andrew Little from the Unions, although you wouldn’t ever guess. He’s the Health Minister who is denying our health professionals a decent pay rise! Truth is stranger than fiction. He’s also the Minister of Health who has been conspicuous by his absence during Covid. He’s too busy reorganising the health system in the middle of the pandemic.

    • He’s the Health Minister who is denying our health professionals a decent pay rise!

      That was a huge disappointment. Even disbelief, at the time. Disappointment – not from someone in the Health Sector, but from any blind Freddy who was staring at the tsunami of Omicron cases that were about to wash over those workers, stretching them beyond their limits (Docs are now having to fill in with basic nursing duties, etc etc).

      I still do not understand his hesitancy, when the health and wellbeing of all us was resting on those overworked, understaffed, stressed out, heavy-lifting workers.

  7. nope but all media in the hands of murdoch and his venal clones…VERRRRYY BADDDD

    NZ media is shite but replacing it with a ‘fox news’ monopoly would be worse.

  8. Jacinda was sent from heaven to make me come to my senses and see that NZ is a greed fuelled prison that is getting worse by the day. I knew she couldn’t have been as cruel as she has been on purpose. Renting from greedy parasites and having my rent increased as the grub landlords many houses went up many hundreds of thousands each whilst she kept saying “its what kiwis want”. My new home in Oz is like a breath of fresh air. Thankyou Jacinda. I see you was just following the “cruel to be kind” mantra.

  9. Sorry you lost me at “Government should enter into a deal with Iwi to stock a new chain of Government/Iwi Supermarkets”
    You know very well that Iwi groups are as capitalist as the rest of them. And the joke of it helping average Maori is almost criminal in its blatant lie.
    50 years of settlement has done nothing but create a tribal elite that drive around in BMW’s and live in nice houses while the “average” Maori suffer with the rest of us. (yes, white people and all other races can be poor too. Shocking i know but true)

  10. Take wine and beer etc from being a main store item, only NZ and organic brands to be sold. That would make more money available for family real needs, and out of dairies as well. Let’s limit stuff that can have bad effexcts, not ban them – all pure and po-faced.

    • Bingo GW! Removing booze from the supermarkets should have been the low hanging fruit the duopoly inquiry picked off first.

      West Auckland has The Trusts Community Foundation, when we had our first baby we got a free car seat from them. They own (sponsor?) the Trust stadium out west.

      It should be a nationwide initiative.

      For all the harm alcohol does, at least some of the profits would go back into the local community.

      • Didn’t know that about the Auckland Trust ma. Sounds good idea what it is doing.We need more of that so we can build our standard of living from being Labour lite.

  11. We need more competition in the supermarket sector and govt needs to pick a fight with the supermarket duopoly and do all they can to attract and simplify a third and fourth chains to come into nz asap but a state/iwi chain? Not sure on that one I think Chris trotter’s analysis on what would happen were the govt to try something like that be on the money.

    But something needs to be done.
    Govt could inact policy to get two more players from overseas operating in NZ.

    It could drop gst by 5-7% in may to offset inflation and get us in line with Australia and Canada and implement a policy to get state houses @ 7.5% of stock

    What it should run on in 2023 universal dental costed at about 2.5-4 billion this would be insanely popular and turning housing NZ into a housing development agency that builds homes and maintains state houses and having the first $25 k tax free and introducing a new a tax bracket so there’s not a huge jump between tax rates.

    In the meantime a cut to GST, a full on fight with the supermarkets and yes look into a co-op but even with that getting new players in and helping them come in, decriminalizing weed to keep the hippies quiet and a desperately needed cabinet reshuffle

    • Yes do something now Labour along the lines Corey H has said. It’s no use keeping everything under wraps to burst forth with promises next election – nobody will believe you, and in the meantime there is a pile of steaming resentment building as in today’s cartoon in stuff.

  12. Not even that Martyn.
    Even if she had the will to do it, it would take months to legislate plus over year to implement, by which time the election is over. And what would the gain be? 2-5% on grocery bills at best. Maybe not even that.
    Meanwhile they could alleviate ‘povvidy’ at a stroke by removing their stupid green taxes from fuel, but that would be making an admission, right?

  13. and the cuts to make up the reduction in fuel levy…would be exactly what?
    c’mon andy WHAT would YOU cut
    ….specifics please.


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