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Foodstuffs Delighted At Court Ruling

14 October 2005

Foodstuffs Delighted At Court Ruling

"A victory for common sense" is how Foodstuffs (Auckland) Limited managing director Tony Carter is describing the High Court's decision to dismiss Progressive Enterprises' contempt of court application against Foodstuffs.

The application arose from an advertising campaign conducted by Foodstuffs after the High Court in May overturned the resource consent granted to Foodstuffs for a PAK'nSAVE supermarket at Wairau Road on Auckland's North Shore, forcing the abandonment of plans to open the supermarket in August. The decision by Justice Baragwanath was released today (Friday 14 (superscript: th) October 2005).

Progressive Enterprises alleged the advertising campaign conducted by Foodstuffs was intended to deter Progressive from continuing its opposition to the PAK'nSAVE but the Judge said that he could "see no risk whatever" of that happening, given Progressive's "economic firepower."

"We are very pleased the Judge regarded Progressive's application as unmeritorious. That certainly reflects our views. This action by Progressive has been a colossal waste of time and money," says Mr Carter.

The campaign, conducted in newspapers, on radio, bus shelters and via direct mail included questions such as "Why doesn't Progressive want PAK'nSAVE open?" and statements such as "Turns out our competitors weren't as excited about the arrival of our low prices as we were" and "Our policy: to bring you NZ's lowest food prices. Progressive's policy: to prevent us."

"We saw the contempt of court application as an attempt by Progressive to prevent us from informing our customers about why we have not been able to open our PAK'nSAVE at Wairau Road. It was the latest in a string of objections against the PAK'nSAVE Progressive has made against us over the years," says Mr Carter.

Foodstuffs has wanted to open a supermarket at Wairau Road for 18 years, and finally was granted resource consent in November last year. Court action by Progressive saw the consent overturned in May.

"We have had a huge amount of public support since we were forced to postpone our opening, and that's only served to further reinforce our desire to be able to open our PAK'nSAVE at Wairau Road and bring our policy of New Zealand's lowest food prices to people on the lower North Shore," says Mr Carter.

Foodstuffs, together with the North Shore City Council, has appealed the High Court decision overturning the resource consent and is awaiting a hearing date.

ENDS

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