Government sets up dedicated email for consumers to report price gouging

Anna Whyte
Source: 1News

The Government has set up a dedicated email for consumers to report potential price gouging in an effort to ensure prices are "fair and reasonable". 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Cabinet met today, and while no evidence had been found of price gouging, "we set up a channel people can report any concerns". 

She said at a time of less competition and higher demand, it was important that consumers should get a "fair and reasonable" price. 

The email address is pricewatch@mbie.govt.nz. 

The Government also discussed if supermarkets would continue to operate during Easter Trading. 

"We are continuing to liaise with operators," Ms Ardern said. "It's very important we also have the view of those working in supermarket chains."

She said the need to restock shelves was a contributing factor in having the days off. A decision would be released tomorrow. 

Ms Ardern added dairies were open "no matter what". 

Cabinet also discussed sick leave of essential workers, especially those who were vulnerable to Covid-19 and had exhausted their sick leave and could not work from home. 

"It is a serious problem as they could be left without income," Ms Ardern said.

Ms Ardern said Government was "urgently working on guidance". 

She praised the decision of FoodStuff and Progressives that have decided all vulnerable workers are not required to work and paid over the four-week lockdown period. 

Today, Director-General of Heath Dr Ashley Bloomfield today reported there were  75 new cases of Covid-19 , and one previous probable case, of coronavirus now confirmed in New Zealand, bringing the total in New Zealand to 589. 

Last week, the Prime Minister said Government followed up on reports of price gouging, saying there were explanations in each instance but it is "something we will be keeping a very keen eye on".