“After threatening more bureaucracy and regulations for supermarkets over the course of its time in Government, and driving food prices through the rood, Labour now claims it is going to help new entrants into the grocery sector with vague promises of corporate welfare. Labour can’t be trusted to lower food prices for struggling Kiwis,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“It was only last year Labour was threatening that supermarket groups would have to supply wholesalers. Before that they thought creating a toothless taxpayer-funded position called the ‘Grocery Commissioner’ would make a difference. Instead, all Kiwis have had from Labour is higher and higher prices.
“New Zealand managed to go almost 24 years without a 12 per cent annual increase in the price of food, as of June this year there were five Food Price Indexes in a row above that mark.
“The last time Kiwis saw any relief in food prices was way back in October 2021, even then the decrease after seasonal adjustments was only 0.1 per cent and followed eight months of steady increases prior.
“People say that paying for their 'top-up shop' at the checkout feels like their weekly shop. There is real anger and resentment that people who life carefully and try to do everything right find themselves having to make hard choices thanks to endlessly rising prices.
“ACT agrees that New Zealand needs more supermarket competition but Labour can’t be trusted to achieve this. In order to have more competition New Zealand needs to be an attractive destination for investment. ACT would:
- Repeal and replace the Resource Management Act to make it easier to build new supermarkets, logistics infrastructure and farm improvements
- Exempt OECD members from the Overseas Investment Act, allowing foreign supermarket chains to invest in New Zealand with certainty
- Repeal stifling new regulations on farmers pumping up the prices at the farm gate
“ACT will also sort out the regulatory pressure that makes it so hard to produce anything in New Zealand, leading to price increases. ACT is proposing a new Minister and Ministry of Regulation to ensure new and existing regulations meet tough new standards and would put red tape on the chopping block.
“The current Government is happy to sit back and watch prices keep rising. Until something is done about wasteful spending and unnecessary regulations on producers then we can expect a monthly increase to the grocery bill to just become part of life.
“If we want more competition, it must be possible for investment to come into the country, sites to be developed for property, skilled people to come through the border, and new employers to employ people without endless bureaucracy. Most of all, New Zealand will need a productive economy, ACT will be the fiscal conscience of the next Government that ensures that."