“The Government’s announcement of a ‘Grocery Commissioner’ misses the point of why Kiwis are paying too much for food – rampant domestic inflation fuelled by Government spending,” says ACT’s Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden.

“The Commerce Commission’s report on the sector found that excess profits were at most $86 per New Zealander, yet between March 2021 to March 2022 alone, prices have increased by $282 per person.

“There’s no doubt that Kiwis are being squeezed at the supermarket – but the Government who ordered this report now needs to admit that it’s the inflation it caused that’s hurting Kiwi battlers.

“It’s little wonder there is not more competition in New Zealand, entering the market is nearly impossible considering the regulatory barriers faced in New Zealand. If it’s too hard to build a house, imagine a supermarket.

“We should make it easier to develop property, easier to get foreign direct investment into the country, and easier to employ people.

“Those who rely on working to pay rising bills need hope, this Government isn’t giving it to them. Under Labour, the gap between the median wage in New Zealand and Australia has grown $6,600 – and there appears to be no strategy to make things better.

“We need real change. That means reducing tax, bureaucracy and waste, and maximising opportunity.

“ACT would address these problems instead of just grizzling at supermarkets and establishing more bureaucracy. We would:

  • Repeal and replace the Resource Management Act to make it easier to build new supermarkets
  • Repeal stifling new regulations on farmers pumping up the prices at the farm gate
  • Exempt OECD members from the Overseas Investment Act, allowing foreign supermarket chains to invest in New Zealand with certainty.

“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, not to mention the onset of ‘fair pay’ agreements which will make competition even harder with all workers in a sector on the same contract nationwide.”