Supermarket Duopoly wins – spineless Labour fail again

If you want something done right, lock David Clark up first.

I'm a clown. I have no idea what I'm doing.

What a total waste of time…

Supermarket action: Government establishing Grocery Commissioner, consulting on code of conduct as officials warn of risk of possible price increase

The Government is establishing a Grocery Commissioner tasked with “keeping the supermarket duopoly honest” and “blowing the whistle where it suspects there is a problem”.

…what a disappointing nothing that has been the outcome of Labour’s spineless attempt to smash the Supermarket Duopoly.

Rather than be radical and seizing 30% of the Duopoly to force market competition, Labour will take the watered down Commerce Commission recommendations and implement 12 of them.

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This will do sweet fuck all and it’s just another fucking example of this spineless, gutless, do nothing Government talking a huge game and then not even bothering to turn up to play.

Right now, Russia and the Ukrainian conflict is impacting everything in terms of food and materials price inflation on top of China’s shut down thanks to their zero tolerance of Covid policy. That is going to see prices explode and I’ve argued inflation will hit double digits by December.

Being told some regulatory tweaks to the Duopoly power of the greedy supermarkets is all Labour have managed while you go hungry and cold will be another example of big promises and empty delivery when people are at their most vulnerable.

Labour are a joke looking for a punchline. This could have been their saving grace, it’s another hollow nothing.

It’s almost like they don’t even want to win the next election.

If you want something done right, lock David Clark up first.


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  1. Nicola Willis welcomed the moves but still thinks government spending is making food more expensive. At least that’s what she seemed to being trying to say.

    It’s utterly ridiculous to suggest the government should steal private assets. Force them to sell by all means.

    • Privatization is the theft of public assets. Turnabout is fair play.

      There can be a small, purely nominal price paid- as there was for our public assets destroyed by privatization.

      • What does privatisation of state owned assets have to do with grocery wholesale and distribution? Was the infrastructure built up by Foodstuffs previously owned by the state?

    • Correct – steal private assets and the game is over for any private asset at the government’s whim. How about your house? But to apply the “force to sell” model, there’s still got to be a grocery chain willing to buy them. Those giant chains do a lot of market research – is it worthwhile? – before entering the market, so there’s no guarantee they’ll come in. And individuals won’t be scrambling to buy one of the “forced to sell” shops as there has to be economy of scale to run a supermarket…

      • You could look at options around the wholesale infrastructure versus retail infrastructure or it could be an entire “brand” such as Pak n Save or New World. There seems to be a lot of reasons that nothing will work which I find hard to believe. Either way the government should not be stealing anything.

        • According to libertarians, a government breaking up a monopoly owned by international interests is basically the same as them taking your family home.

          • I am not a libertarian but “here’s the thing” Foodstuffs is not owned by international interests.

    • When you get beltway politicians you get beltway solutions Wheely. On this issue they are both as useless as each other as NO ONE wants to do a proper royal commission and find that successive governments contributed to the problem. No like Health, Law and Order and most of New Zimbabwe the Ambulance is at the bottom of the cliff in a thousand pieces.

      Why would Audi come into New Zimbabwe with no staff, no sites, poor infrastructure and transport logistics and otherwise a lack of scale.

      For once you are correct Te Reo and Labourlite would change nothing – shit would just run a little smoother

      • Well a buyer might be interested if you forced the sale of an entire brand. That’s like selling a company lock stock and barrel, sites and employees ready to go. The research seems to have shown that margin wise the current duopoly makes way better returns than comparable operations in Europe. Sure the margins start to get challenged in a competitive environment but that’s what these guys do.

        • I know I’m repetitive on this one but….as imports into brexit britain which was a large market for aldi become increasingly difficult and costly and given our trade deal with the EU, NZ might be a more attractive prospect especially as they have a suppy chain from europe to auz as it is…the tasman is a small hop….if we can bribe hollywood we can bribe a Europian grocer.

        • You don’t think the third player wouldn’t just join on in the fun ala Comm Bank, Westpac, ANZ and NAB do. Would you believe Coles getting a sweetheart deal will improve our lot.

          Then you have the precedent of forcing the sale of private assets. Overnight foreign investment would dry up as well as domestic investment.

          There would no surer way of putting this country back 30 years and that is why even Robber(tson) won’t go there.

          • it might not get better lets do nothing…right out of the LINO handbook panzer-boi….rightards keep on critisising a lack of movement but when something is actually proposed ‘yer agin govt communism’

  2. I think it’s mostly emotional attachment to Jacinda, and being underwhelmed by Luxon & the alternatives.

  3. Yes if you want a job done well there are 2 things you don’t do.
    1 Involve the Labour Government.
    2 involve David Clark.

    • Fair enough Bob. What do you think National and ACT would do differently on this issue? Cut infrastructure spend to drive down the cost of a block of cheese? They have already said they agree with the CC recommendations.

    • Part of the problem is that Labeens advisors are all neoliberals who rose to the top in the previous Natz or Labour Rogernomic government signed up members and Labour ministers don’t seem to have much ability to do their own thinking.

    • Bob and the 3 thing would be to run from a NatACT government, if its any indication of what Luxon is spouting off in London. Here we have a stateswoman fighting for every New Zealander and their businesses and along comes Mr. Blobby who used to “run an airline don’t you know” . He is not only running down the bottom feeders but he is also now calling New Zealand business’s soft. He is a laughing stock and the press in UK must wonder who on earth this person is.

  4. This is no surprise from a government hell-bent on abolishing the crucial Commissioner for Children.

  5. Sounds like when regulating the power industry their bright idea was to take away the prompt payment discount, oh boy, let’s attack those that try to pay on time and remove that saving for them! Can’t have that!

    As for power regulation in NZ, pathetic!

    Way to be cleared for big electricity players to prey on low-income households

    NZ Power Companies are not even Compliant under EU and US Laws!

    • Any so-called prompt payment discount would more honestly be named a late payment penalty, and a swingeing one at that.

    • The _start_ to fixing electricity has to be seizing back Genesis and paying those who have been profiting from its theft a fraction of what they paid (turnabout is fair play).

  6. Everything the Government has done about this amounts to a dereliction of duty. I don’t believe it’s because they are spineless. It may be hair splitting but I think it’s due to them genuinely not knowing what to do…..aka “clueless”.

    Everyone can see the epic rort Kiwi’s are being subjected to regardless if things are normal, in lockdown or with high inflation etc. Supermarkets have been taking the piss year after year. The Government makes noises like they care so they have an investigation conducted by others. Then when the results come back what does the Government do? They gift control of putting things right back into the hands of the very people that have been doing the rorting. What a far king joke! They give some meaningless threat that if the Supermarkets don’t do the right thing there will be consequences. Haha. Do you think the Supermarkets didn’t register the Government was out of it’s depth so they could press on business as usual with just a few minor perfunctory changes? Supermarkets won’t surrender their epic profits unless they are absolutely forced to. Is the Government the only people that can’t see this?

    Now they have abdicated responsibility yet again. They have appointed a Sherriff to watch over Supermarkets and their ongoing rorts. Why? The rorting has already been emphatically proven. Some results of this appointment may or may not be seen in 2023. WTAF? Kiwi’s are hurting and need action now. Not more clueless buying time bullshit.

    If you think the timing of this is unrelated to 2023 being election year, you haven’t been paying attention. As I said last year, the Government doesn’t have to resolve the carnage in health, housing, law and order etc etc, they just have to produce enough data to hoodwink enough of us that they are on the right track. Supermarket rorts are another ongoing issue they will add to that list. If you need any more proof of that plan just look at what Labour puts up every day on Social Media. They are routinely congratulating themselves on different areas including housing ffs. They must be taking the piss surely.

    Is it any wonder so many of us are cynical?

    Here’s a few things to consider.

    Labour claimed they had the answers to resolve the housing crisis. Kiwi’s bought into it as National had failed and we needed a much better outcome. Nek minute reality arrives and the Government is brutally exposed. What next? Get rid of the utterly useless Phil Twyford, move the goal posts aka “reset” and replace Twyford with Ardern’s good friend the morbidly obese Megan Woods. What has she achieved since apart from lowering the bar while seeking photo opportunities? When that is exposed and authentic answers are required, Woods is “unavailable for comment”. One thing we know for certain is Woods will not be reaching for “unavailable for comment” in the election campaign.

    Poto Williams was asleep at the wheel as Police Minister. The situation all Kiwi’s were seeing went from bad to worse on a daily basis. Williams could only do one thing successfully. Prove how totally out of her depth she really was in the role. When Ardern finally gave her the Spanish Archer (el bow), she told kiwi’s Williams had “lost her focus”. WTF? Three questions. Did she ever have any focus and if so, how can you lose focus when there is an unprecedented crime wave unfolding? How can you have confidence in the process that allowed such a person to become the all important Minister of Police?

    Andrew Little has no background in health yet is the Health Minister. Why? simply because it was too soon for the very capable Ayesha Verrall to take over the role. Andrew Little has been a major disappointment while our nurses carry on waiting month after month for better pay and conditions and Kiwi’s wait for a decent health system. It’s a shambles with diabolical staffing issues. With that backdrop, Labour prove the only priority is their agenda. Andrew Little is the Government’s King of “unavailable for comment”

    Nanaia Mahuta asleep at the wheel with “Three waters” while China arrives in the Pacific to continue their advancement and agenda.

    Chris Hipkins is a good Minister and chosen for roles on merit but unfortunately, he’s in the minority.

    Trevor Mallard. Less said the better.
    Kelvin Davis. Out of his depth.
    Carmel Sepuloni. Was the only Kiwi blissfully unaware of the fact Hotels / Motels were charging MSD considerably more than they charged the public. She is the epitome of a possum caught in the headlights.
    Grant Robertson. Smart cookie, good minister and good communicator.
    David Parker. Good minister.
    David Clarke. A sad indictment on the Government they he is even in cabinet let alone carrying five portfolios.

    etc etc

    • Yes as I’ve said on many occasions they may be well intentioned but simply do not know what to do.
      They are a hapless bunch.

      • Queeny,

        What the real “yawn” is to my eye are Labour sycophants that believe their Gods can do no wrong and refuse to even acknowledge a single one of their list of failings. I voted Labour in 2017 because I was totally disillusioned with divisive path National were taking NZ and then again in 2020 because I believed they needed more time and I despised Judith Collins. I also encouraged my family in that same direction. All Labour have done since with a few exceptions is prove they are completely out of their depth and are riddled with useless Cabinet Ministers. They are better than National who I can’t stand but that is not a good enough reason to vote for them. ACT and the Greens are as bad as each other for very different reasons. I won’t be voting in 2023.

        Tell me something about your “yawn” logic.

        I will use horse racing as an example. You watched a horse called Little Red win a race handsomely in 2020. It has failed dismally in almost every race since especially on rain effected tracks. Despite that the trainer keeps telling the media the horse will win it’s next start…..but it never does. Many feel the horse looks lame and sore in the off foreleg.

        Little Red is racing tomorrow and the track is rain effected. It has very poor form. Will you wager your hard earned on it? Of course what I’m really asking you is would you still support and vote Labour even if their list of failures continued to grow negatively impacting more Kiwi’s every month in either housing, health or law and order?

        My contention is that if you give even tacit approval to mediocrity at best, you can never expect anything better.

    • Some I agree with Thinking Man then I compared National and ACT

      Luxon, no experience in politics.
      Seymour, awful dancer.
      Shane Reti, good minister.

      And that’s where it ends.
      The rest are simply useless.

      • Bert,

        I always respect and enjoy your input….even when I may disagree with it.

        Luxon is a dangerous man. Authenticity is hugely important to me in every area of life. I’m confident the same applies with you. Luxon is doing all he can to “appear” to be everything to everyone and actively disguise who he really is. That makes him dangerous especially when he’s the leader of the despicable National Party. Luxon is the perfect person to be leading a totally untrustworthy National Party. If he gets the chance he will enforce massive change that will disadvantage those that can least afford it and advantage those doing very nicely that support National. Anything and everything they get wrong will be blamed on Labour and their Covid management, one of the things Labour mostly got right.

        Seymour is equally dangerous for different reasons.

        Shane Reti is useless. He’s got one thing right in all the statements he’s made. That being now is the wrong time to implement enormous change to our health system. There are already enormous staffing issues that needed to be resolved prior to any changes being implemented especially huge change. He’s spot on. Andrew Little already presided over the Pike River recovery debacle. That was his claim to fame after staying on as Labour leader for 18 months too long when it was so obvious NZ didn’t want a bar of him at any point. He’s been steering the ship that has disrespected our nurses month after month. Now he’s rubbing salt into the wound by his agenda being the only priority. A few vested interest folk will support the huge changes he’s implemented to our health system but everyone I’ve spoken to about it is certain it’s a train wreck in the making. I have multiple family and extended family in our health system across the board. Clinicians, consultants, anesthetists, doctors and nurses. I have yet to speak to a single one who supports what Andrew Little is doing.

        As an aside, several years ago most of these same people spoke of then Health Minister Jonathan Coleman with disdain and described him as arrogant and unworthy of respect. They rate Andrew Little even worse. Very telling.

  7. What does privatisation of state owned assets have to do with grocery wholesale and distribution? Was the infrastructure built up by Foodstuffs previously owned by the state?

  8. Calling them “Labour” is effectively deadnaming them. They’re LINO.

    NZ has some serious problems that only a genuine left-wing government is likely to fix. If this government is not going to address those problems in earnest, they must be dumped at the next election, because …

    NZ also has some other serious problems that the current pseudo-leftwing government is actively exacerbating. The cancer of Critical Race Theory and radical gender ideology needs to be cleaned out of all our institutions, and the burgeoning parasitic bureaucracy needs a brutal pruning.

    But Luxon won’t clean out CRT and radical gender ideology (or the bureaucracy) – he’s too afraid of upsetting the iwiocracy and the “progressive” professional middle classes. Seymour and/or Peters must have clout in our next government if there’s to be any change for the better.

    I’d like to see both LINO and the Nats utterly annihilated at the next election. Maybe then we would get a new proper social democrat party, and maybe a proper conservative party too. Not that it’s likely to happen.

  9. I was hoping that the Government/Commerce Commission would just damn well BREAK THEM UP.. but what we got was tinkering of rules that might (MIGHT) bring down barriers enough for a 3rd entrant to set up – which is gonna take some time.

    Give a third (or even 4th) operator a kick start by forcing a sale of duplicate stores… plenty of places that have a Countdown and a Pak n Save.. or even two Countdowns (one formerly Woolworths) near each other.. both owned by Foodstuffs.

  10. 1) Make surplus public land availiable to a 3rd supermarket chains
    2) Use the same methods to speed up consents for new supermarkets that have been done for roads

  11. Labour came to power and did a review on poverty with 24 recommendations, nothing has been started
    Cannabis within 100 days which turned out to be 2 years and still nobody can afford the products on offer
    Review on disability and now a new ministry but nothing to help the disabled directly
    Review on the electricity market, early payers lost their discount otherwise no change
    3 waters that nobody asked for which would seize ratepayers assets so they can charge more.
    Review into the petrol market, went silent.
    Bunch of housing rules but all the costs just fell on tenants.
    and now a supermarket duopoly that isnt changing anytime soon/
    Is Labour even left wing anymore?

      • or, they pretend to be for the people but are actually for business and doing anything would affect business who donate big to them whereas those of us at the bottom dont, They get what they want and we just get reviews to pretend like they’re doing something.
        I dont see a point getting the other lot in, they just seem to make the lives of those at the bottom worse.

  12. …. the greedy supermarkets…

    Don’t forget the greedy oil companies, to be replaced in the future by greedy bastards like Musk and his electric cars.

    Just one question: were they all this greedy when inflation was low for the last four decades? Why is their greed driving up prices now but not then? Could there be other factors at play?

  13. I watched with delight as Ryan Bridge cleverly slowly dismantled the hapless Minister Clark. Question by question he exposed him as a clown with a theory. In the end it was crystal clear that this will achieve nothing for consumers but for one thing: another beaurocratic layer at huge cost to the taxpayer. I can picture National and Act sitting back with fresh roasted popcorn, cheering on “Yes! Give is more Clark. Give us more Mahuta. Give us more Sepuloni. MORE MORE MORE!”

  14. It’s not revolutionary but it’s nothing to cry about, ending land covenants and changing the law so your local supermarket can rebrand from a countdown or pak n save to a Costco or an Aldi or go independent overnight without being sued and without losing their suppliers is a good start to encouraging a third and fourth player and some independent supermarkets.

    Forcing them to sell to their competitors at the same wholesale price they sell to their own supermarket franchises is also good. Again it means if existing supermarkets wanna go independent they lose nothing andndairys, grocers, speciality chains, butchers servos,night and days, minimarts asian supermarkets can sell at competitive prices cos they are buying wholesale not retail now, If the prices are lower or the same I’m gonna go to the dairy or the knight and day or the independent grocer rather than the supermarket.

    Also the code of conduct that stops the Duopoly from deleting products and threatening and acting like mafiosos to food manufactures is a good thing.

    This ain’t perfect and I hope it’s just the start but it ain’t nothing. Landsales, no lawsuit rebranding, forced wholesale to competitors who all buy retail currently, no more abusing producers.

    This is a good start to convincing international chains to invest in NZ.

    I would prefer it to go stronger but I’m not sure if actually taking away companies families have held for generations would have played well as well with the public as people think.

    People want Costco and Aldi in NZ they don’t want government commandeering people’s businesses and no international company would invest in a country where a govt does that ..

    There’s never going to be a state owned or funded supermarket, however, if Iwi want to start a new NZ owned supermarket brand with their own money people would welcome that….

    At the end of the day, these are policies to allow an international supermarket chain to enter NZ and for existing supermarkets to join that new chain without being bankrupted with legal action by the Duopoly, it’s also about forcing existing players to be able to access wholesale prices.

    Needs more work but it’s a start.

  15. Kiwi Rail, Kiwi Bank, Kiwi Build,….then why not Kiwi SUPERMARKET…..

    David Clark is good at mountain biking and nothing much else.

  16. Did they fail .People are blaming the Supermarkets, and not blaming the Govt , for rising food prices.
    Killed the oppositions line of attack on food prices.

    Commerce commission enquiry into Fuel Companies after they raised fuel tax, same thing diversion.
    Think the Clark govt did the same, when they raised fuel tax?

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