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Call to keep cigarettes out of The Warehouse

Call to keep cigarettes out of The Warehouse

Maori Party Tobacco Out of Aotearoa spokesperson Hone Harawira is calling for cigarettes to be kept off the counters of the country’s largest retail chain.

“The Warehouse could become the next biggest seller of tobacco products if the judge of a Court of Appeal case, which starts today (April 29) in Wellington, allows three Foodstuffs cooperatives and Woolworths Ltd to acquire up to 100% shares in, or assets of, the red shed retail chain.

“Stephen Tindall [The Warehouse founder] deserves an award for keeping tobacco out of his stores and in doing so putting the nation’s health before profits,” Mr Harawira said. “I urge Foodstuffs and Woolworths to honour that if they are allowed to bid and take over ownership.”

“More than half the 26.8 million packets of cigarettes sold in the year to October 2005 in New Zealand, were sold at supermarkets including New World and Pak N Save stores owned by Foodstuffs, and Woolworths and Countdown outlets owned by Woolworths Ltd.

“I’ll be reserving my decision to nominate The Warehouse for a World Smokefree Black Rock Award this year until I’m confident that any new owner won’t be selling a product that to date has killed more than 200,000 Kiwis.”

“The Warehouse has 85 stores throughout the country and since it launched in 1982 it has turned over billions of dollars and made net profits totalling more than $194 million in its previous two financial years.

“The Warehouse is already a very profitable business without cigarettes and I just hope potential owners don’t get too greedy and change that,” he said.


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