This article may be of interest to you if you’re thinking about emigrating to New Zealand and hoping to be accepted in the country. If this article demonstrates how New Zealanders regard their closest neighbours (supposed ANZAC spirit included), what chance do migrants and trading partners from further afield stand?
E2NZ.org has always been of the opinion that New Zealand’s campaign to boycott Countdown (a subsidiary of Woolworths Ltd.) owed more to rabble rousing xenophobia than any ‘noble’ idea of protecting Kiwi jobs.
Now the chairman of the Sydney based Woolworth’s chain, Ralph Waters, has castigated New Zealanders for accusing his company of boycotting NZ products, and for alleging that Countdown had demanded unfair retrospective payments from its suppliers.
He told the Herald on Sunday:
“I am concerned about the unnecessary and unworthy impact of this on Countdown and our 3000 New Zealand employees, and I am very disturbed about how quickly it slips into anti-Australian rhetoric. It comes too often in New Zealand … it is unhealthy.
“Three to four months after my wife arrived in New Zealand, she said she couldn’t watch the news at night because it was just so full of belting up Australia. And it comes in waves.”
On the subject of Woolworth’s alleged dumping of Kiwi products from its shelves he said:
Woolworths Australia had bought $310.5 million worth of New Zealand products in the past 12 months, and was in negotiations with a local company for a big new supply contract.
“So that’s a black ban on New Zealand suppliers? We are a $300m customer to New Zealand and are being treated like this.”
Expensive New Zealand
The company had also been a driving force in helping to bring down food prices. Ralph Waters told The Herald on Sunday:
“New Zealand consumers, and the economy generally, would not have benefited from the deflation in grocery prices over the last several years without us having very robust buying conversations with our suppliers – and especially when the prices for many of these products that New Zealand consumers are paying is more than people elsewhere round the world pay for the same products. You can put that on the record.”
Grocery Code of Conduct
In December 2013 Woolworth’s chief executive Grant O’Brien teamed up with Westfarmers (Coles) to persuade rival offshore supermarket chains to sign up to their “landmark grocery code of conduct with suppliers.”
The code will increase the degree of oversight by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and is intended partly to allay fears of dominance by Coles and Woolworths:
”It’s now time for Aldi, Costco and IGA to join the conversation,” he told shareholders at Woolworths’ annual meeting.
”In terms of the wider competition debate, all stakeholders would be well minded to keep what’s best for customers at the forefront of their minds.”
Aldi, Costco and Metcash have so far shown no inclination to join Woolworths and Coles in signing the code of conduct, which was finalised last week after 14 months of negotiations with the Australian Food and Grocery Council…”
[He said] the code established a clear set of principles around trading relationships between retailers and suppliers, and would provide greater certainty and clarity without adding complexity or cost…” source.
It is not known if a similar code was suggested for New Zealand. Though it is entirely possible that the current backlash against Countdown/Woolworths ltd. in New Zealand was instigated by New Zealand supermarkets fearful that it could established in their country.
What better defence could they have but to attack first, putting Woolworths’ on the back foot against a tide of anti-Australian foment. Anyone want to place a bet on who’s been lobbying Shane Jones to make false accusations under the cover of parliamentary privilege?
- ‘Boycott Countdown’ Already Old News February 18, 2014
- Violence Considered as an Option in the Boycott Countdown Campaign February 17, 2014
- Begin the Countdown – Time to start being critical thinkers New Zealand February 17, 2014
- The Boycott Countdown Group should protect Kiwi workers first and foremost February 16, 2014
- Begin the Countdown – “Ashamed to be a Kiwi…Scaremongering at its worst in NZ” February 16, 2014
- Begin the Countdown – Australians, tell us your view of the NZ Countdown Boycott. It doesn’t add up February 16, 2014
- Begin the Countdown – Xenophobic Intent Revealed: ‘Let’s Bash Immigrants Too’ – updated February 14, 2014