Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Big box opening a can of worms

3 June, 2003
Big box opening a can of worms

Green MP Mike Ward said he has grave doubts about the Prime Minister's commitment to New Zealand small business by opening a new distribution centre for The Warehouse.

The Green Party spokesperson for small business and Buy Local campaigner said Helen Clark would have demonstrated a greater commitment to New Zealand-owned small business and the culture of small town New Zealand by not accepting the invitation to open the Rolleston site at 11 o'clock tomorrow morning.

"By choosing to open yet another mega-sized complex for The Warehouse, Helen Clark is effectively giving her stamp of approval to big box retailing," said Mike Ward.

"These big box complexes undermine the viability of New Zealand manufacturers and retailers who between them have centuries of commitment to their communities.

"It is hard to applaud the possible creation of 60 jobs at this centre when The Warehouse can be held responsible for the loss of many more jobs and closures of businesses in nearly every small town its entered."

Mr Ward said a Canadian study into the effects of big box retailing showed retail sales in Canada's downtown shopping areas dropped an average of 28 per cent between 1989 and 1996.

"The anecdotal evidence in New Zealand leaves no doubt the same thing is being experienced here, especially on our small town mainstreets," said Mr Ward.

"While I admire Ms Clark's commitment to New Zealand arts and culture, either she has been badly advised or doesn't understand the importance of retailing to local culture when she supports a business that does nothing but erode this."

Mike Ward backed calls from Envision New Zealand's Warren Snow, for the Government to consider a moratorium on big box-style retailing.

"These megastore retailers are completely changing the way New Zealanders shop and live by pushing unsustainable hyper-consumerism as if the lowest possible price is the only virtue," said Mr Snow.

"Communities need to have a stronger voice in determining the mix of retail within their communities and I think a moratorium would give them the chance to have a say in preserving local flavour and viability of their communities.

"Big box retail is literally spelling the death knell of traditional town centres and community values," said Mr Snow.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news