National Party leader Christopher Luxon says the Government stepping in to "run a wholesale food operation would be a disaster" and is calling for the implementation of the Commerce Commission’s recommendations around supermarkets.
Consumer NZ on Tuesday launched a petition calling on the Government to go further than the Commerce Commission’s recommendations around creating stronger competition in the sector.
According to the Commerce Commission report, the two big supermarket operators, Foodstuffs and Woolworths, are making over $1 million of excess profit every single day.
This is something the operators deny.
In its final report in March, the Commerce Commission stopped short of calling for an outright shakeup of the sector and instead made recommendations including the introduction of a code of conduct.
Luxon says he’s seen these measures work in practice during his years dealing with the supermarket industry in the UK.
He believes they can work in New Zealand too, if implemented properly to ensure they “have real teeth”, including powers of enforcement.
Consumer NZ believes Government regulation is needed to improve things like access to wholesale, the business of selling large quantities of products at low prices.
However, Christopher Luxon believes this isn’t a good idea.
“A Government that couldn’t deliver KiwiBuild running a wholesale food operation would be a disaster.”
He has also accused the Government of using supermarkets as an excuse for why it isn’t dealing with inflation properly.