Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Mayor gutted by supermarket tactics

Mayor gutted by supermarket tactics

March 1, 2014

Hauraki Mayor John Tregidga has hit out at Progressive Enterprises, accusing the supermarket giant of trying to push his community into extending alcohol trading Progressive Enterprises, which owns 68 Countdown supermarkets in New Zealand, is trying to force the small council to change its local alcohol policy.

It wants the Council to extend the hours alcohol can be sold in the Hauraki district from 7am until 11pm and has appealed the Council’s policy to the alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority.

The Council policy wants hours restricted from 7am to 9pm.

Mr Tregidga said the Council had “overwhelming support” from its community to
restrict trading hours, including from the Waikato District Health Board, NZ police, anti-violence groups and more.

“Hundreds of people have input into this policy, via a survey, via discussion groups and via the formal submission process. It’s as clear as a bell that the people of Hauraki do not want supermarkets selling booze past 9pm. Progressive Enterprises simply doesn’t care what local people want; for them its all about dollars. It’s that Mr Tregidga said Progressive Enterprises has two Countdown supermarkets in the district and both closed at 9pm.

But he said Progressive’s lawyer made it clear during hearings that the company wants longer trading hours - from 7am until 11pm. The Council had originally proposed 9am – 9pm.

“Progressive also made it clear that if they didn’t get their way, they would appeal, despite what the community clearly wants,” Mr Tregidga said.

“Frankly, it felt like a threat. Small councils like ours can’t afford a legal stoush with Progressive and they know it.”

Mr Tregidga said, after talking with local police and others, the Council compromised and changed the policy, extending morning hours to allow alcohol trade beginning at 7am but still closing sales off at 9pm.

“And we’ve taken a bit of flak from people about that; they think we’ve been too soft. As it turns out, the compromise wasn’t enough for Progressive and now they’re bringing out the big guns.”

Two other liquor organisations – Liquorland and SuperLiquor - have also appealed Hauraki’s policy. However neither is demanding that trading hours be extended to Mr Tregidga said he was “absolutely gutted” with the attitude from Progressive and said his community would not “go down without a fight”.

“The legislation was set up specifically to allow local people to have their say about alcohol in their community. That’s why it is a called a Local Alcohol Policy.”

“But Progressive Enterprises seems to be quite happy to ride rough-shod over small communities to get their own way and force small council into defending something that frankly, shouldn’t have to be defended. It makes me sick.”

Mayor Tregidga said legal costs to take part in the appeal had been estimated at tens of thousands of dollars.

“Why should the ratepayers of Hauraki be forced to go up against Progressive Enterprises? We can’t afford to do that, not with the resources they are throwing at this issue nation-wide.”

Mr Tregida said he was aware that the Australian-owned supermarket chain had appealed a number of local alcohol policies adopted by other small Councils.

“I just think someone needs to stand up and say something. Progressive’s attitude is nothing short of arrogant.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

National Party Conference: Plans To Nudge Immigrants Towards Regions

The Government will introduce a package of immigration measures aimed at improving the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Relieved Of Control At Mt Eden Prison, Retains Contract

Multi-national private prison operator Serco has been forced to hand back control of Auckland's Mt Eden remand prison to the Department of Corrections, which has used a 'step-in' clause in its contract with Serco following a string of increasingly serious allegations about contraband, prisoner injuries and a death. More>>

ALSO:

Other Experiments: Failing Charter School Stays Open 'For Kids'

Education Minister Hekia Parata says she has given Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Northland a chance to continue operating because of her concerns about finding other educational opportunities for its students. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news