We’re getting comments that two Australian supermarkets are supporting their country’s ‘Buy Australian’ campaign by opting to use solely Australian producers for their own label products.
There’s nothing wrong with supporting local producers and it does reduce food miles, which is a far more sustainable way of doing business in this carbon conscious era. So why the furore in New Zealand?
The problem is that Kiwi producers have taken it personally and consider it to be an insult to New Zealand and their national pride, of which they have aplenty.
Evidence of NZ goods still on sale in Australian supermarkets
By way of retaliation there now is a movement afoot to boycott Australian owned supermarkets in New Zealand, of which Countdown is one. Furthermore, the ‘battle’ has been taken to Facebook with a hate page called “Boycott Countdown” set-up by an accountant, Nevan Lancaster (below) of Papamoa Beach, New Zealand, whose twitter profile says he’s “traveling and trading around the world” and was “leading a group of business’s suing Swedish club after the Rena grounding.” The page is populated mostly by trolls, spurned on by comments made by Shane Jones under the protection of parliamentary privilege.
Nevan Lancaster also owns a Kayak and catamaran rental shop and helped organise claims for a group of business owners affected by the Tauranga ship wreck. He himself claimed he lost an estimated $3,000-$5,000 (depending on source) in rental income.
Eastern Europe better bet than NZ
It is not known what Lanscaster stands to gain, if anything, by encouraging a boycott of Australian owned supermarkets. But he did once say NZ and Slovenia were very similar countries and their GDP were about the same. He said whilst Slovenia was holding its position within Europe, New Zealand was “falling behind the EU each year.” Where’s the logic in trying to accelerate that decline with the “Boycott Countdown” hate site? Maybe this hirer of pleasure craft has too much time on his hands?
He thought that Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic “all have better prospects for growth than NZ.” source. It would be interesting to know if he thinks damaging economic relations with Australia would improve NZ’s prospects for growth.
Of the Australian supermarket stoush he opined
“It just sticks in the craw a bit. I believe in free trade but it’s got to be fair as well,” he said. “It’s like, kick New Zealand.”
Mr Lancaster wants people to stop shopping at Countdown and instead give their grocery dollar to locally-owned producers and suppliers. “Basically if our goods are not good enough to be sold to Australians, then the company is not good enough to sell to us,” Mr Lancaster said. “Go to your local butcher, green grocer and supermarket.” source
Mr Lancaster said on the page, which has been liked by almost 8,000 people, this is what it will take for him to end the trans Tasman shopping war
I have being asked what I would like to see to finish the Boycott. Mainly a full reversal of their decision to pull NZ products off their shelves in Aussie and a Buy Kiwi month instituted in their Aussie shops every year as recompense. As for the Shane Jones allegations I will leave that to the Commerce Commission but it would be cool if a fairer system for Supermarket suppliers came out of this. Foodstuffs would have to come to the party as well. I am working through some ideas at the moment but nothing concrete yet.
He may have a long wait. The Australian government isn’t interested in the opinions of Kiwi suppliers, or shoppers, and its supermarkets virtually have a monopoly on food retailing in New Zealand. They’ve said if someone’s got a grievance to take it to the ACCC.
“AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Tony Abbott isn’t going to do anything about supermarkets spurning New Zealand products.
He said they were private businesses making commercial decisions, and if anyone has a problem with that they can go to the competition and consumer authorities…
The action taken by the supermarkets is part of a vigorous Buy Australia campaign.” more
The Aussies’ only real competitor in New Zealand is a dour, low-income shopping warehouse called PaknSave (the clue is in the name).
But why is New Zealand stopping with supermarkets? Why aren’t Kiwis boycotting all Australian businesses in New Zealand starting with the leviathan banks that kept NZ’s ship off the reef during the GFC? That would send out a real message about independence.
Some of the comments on the Facebook page show that New Zealanders don’t presently have the sort of influence on the world they’d like to have.
and they blame everyone except themselves for their low wage economy and dependence on their big bro’. (Note it wasn’t so long ago that PM Key was saying that NZ’s low wages gave them a competitive edge over Australia).
We hope the campaign succeeds. It’s past time for New Zealanders to become more self reliant, to be able to live and trade without relying on Australia so heavily for their welfare and success.
Time for them to stand on their own two feet in the world and be proud of what they can accomplish on their own, time to stop being the 3rd unrecognized territory of Australia. They’ve had the debate about losing the union flag, why not go the whole hog and start the countdown to independence from Australia too?
It’s time for Kiwis to fly the nest.
The ‘Boycott Countdown Facebook’ page revealed its xenophobic agenda today with the following comment. The campaign isn’t about protecting Kiwi investments, or safeguarding the livelihood of NZ’s food producers, its xenophobia and narrow minded protectionism – pure and simple: