Has it turned to just mindless bashing of Countdown?

April 6th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

On the original allegations against , I’ve praised Shane Jones for the work he did in exposing their allegedly ugly tactics of asking for retrospective payments from suppliers. I don’t think such a practice (if it happens) should be condoned.

But yesterday, it turned into almost a smear campaign against Countdown. They were accused on TV3 of everything from threatening a select committee, to bullying competitors also, to bullying Councils to shock horror selling Lotto tickets.  I think a line has been crossed, and we are now just seeing a degree of mindless bashing.

Let’s look at the various stories, starting with the Mad Butcher stores:

Now, chief executive of the Mad Butcher Michael Morton told The Nation Countdown does not just bully its suppliers but also its competitors.

“I believe they have a cultural billing within the whole organisation,” he said.

“If you look to the information that came out and the allegations that were made about the supply and the tactics that were done there. The fact that when we do any comparative advertising to them, we get smashed with lawyers letters. They come down like a sledge hammer.”

There’s a key fact missing from that story. As much as I love the Mad Butcher, in this case his (former) stores are the bad guys. You see their advertisements were found to be false and misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority:

The Mad Butcher’s advertising that claimed to have cheaper meat than Countdown has been labelled “misleading” and “likely to deceive”.

Earlier this year, The Mad Butcher ran print, television and radio advertisements claiming “Jo from Onehunga”, a randomly selected shopper, paid 30 per cent more for lamb chops, schnitzel, mince, pork chops and eye fillet steak at Countdown than at The Mad Butcher.

But an Advertising Standards Authority decision released on Monday upheld the complaint of Progressive Enterprises Limited, which owns Countdown.

The decision said the ad was not comparing like for like as no basket shop was undertaken by Jo, four out of five products in the Countdown basket couldn’t be purchased at the time, and 1kg meat packs couldn’t usually be bought at Countdown.

The Countdown prices given were from Onehunga, and weren’t reflective of national pricing, it said.

“The advertisements made comparisons that were likely to mislead or deceive consumers,” it said.

“The advertisements falsely claimed a price advantage in this instance.”

I’m sorry, but no sympathy. You tried to deceive consumers about your prices, and your competitor complained your advertisements were false and misleading. That isn’t bullying. That’s just good sense.

Then the next bash was shock horror they sell Lotto tickets:

Labour MP Shane Jones has again taken aim at Countdown, raising concerns about lotto sales at the supermarket’s checkouts.

Lotto tickets are being sold despite new evidence that people spend less on food when there is a big jackpot.

You can now buy lotto at the checkouts in 100 Countdown supermarkets around the country. That makes buying a ticket more convenient, but Mr Jones says that is the problem.

“With Countdown putting a one-armed bandit at every Countdown checkout counter, you’re bringing gambling into the community,” says Mr Jones.

That’s just pathetic. I’ve been buying lotto tickets at New World for over a decade.  Why is it fine at one group of supermarkets, but not another? This is just smearing Countdown.

Mr Morton says the lotto jackpot should be capped, and Mr Jones agrees the jackpot can get too big. But he says the availability is the real problem.

“I really want to have an immediate review of the Gambling Act,” says Mr Jones. “Is it really in society’s interests to have lotto and gambling available at every checkout counter in the Aussie-owned supermarket?”

Now we’re getting effing ridiculous. Shane Jones wants to cap the size of the jackpot for Lotto? He should go join the Green Party.

And he think lotto tickets can be sold in supermarkets, so long as they are not owned by Australians? This is just xenophobic bashing.

And to answer his question, yes it is in society interests  that hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who enjoy Lotto can buy tickets conveniently for it. Apart from the enjoyment they get from it, money from Lotto funds Sport NZ, Creative NZ, the NZ Film Commissions and thousands of community groups. They get almost $200 million a year from people voluntarily playing Lotto.

Then we have Jones making things up about a threat:

Labour MP Shane Jones has accused Countdown of threatening a parliamentary committee with legal action, amid an investigation into extortion allegations.

Mr Jones made the allegations on The Nation this morning, claiming a letter threatening legal action against the commerce select committee is “around”.

But both Countdown and the committee deny the existence of a threatening letter, the latter labelling Mr Jones’ allegations “obviously” wrong.

“I am not sure how Shane knows about that… but he is obviously wrong,” commerce select committee chairman Jonathan Young told NZ Newswire.

The so called threatening letter merely asks for a transcript of the last hearing – which is a routine request.

And finally we had complaints that Countdown are appealing against decisions imposing hours on beer and wine sales that are more restrictive than the national default hours:

Well in many cases they fighting against what a lot of councillors do and that is to limit the sale of alcohol in supermarkets. The default position is from seven a.m to 11 p.m. Most councillors in New Zealand are adopting a nine a.m to nine p.m approach and in some cases Countdown in particularly and Progressive have appealed that on the basis that they want it to be open to 11 p.m.

I actually support Countdown on this issue. All you do by restricting beer and wine sales to 9 pm is annoy a lot of late night shoppers who can’t buy a bottle of wine with their groceries. Many Councils are falling into the trap of not distinguishing between specialist bottle stores and supermarkets. If you go to a bottle store at 10 pm, you are almost inevitably buying alcohol to drink immediately. But if you are buying alcohol from a supermarket at 10 am, then it is generally not for immediate consumption. The retail data shows very few people buy just alcohol from supermarkets after 9 pm. They are doing their regular shopping, and just happen to include some beer or wine with that.

So it is quite reasonable for a supermarket to question decisions made by local politicians, if they are not actually going to reduce alcohol harm – and instead just punish supermarket shoppers and supermarkets.

As I said at the beginning, Countdown’s alleged behaviour towards suppliers appears to have been bad, and that is now being investigated by the Commerce Commission. But all these other complaints are looking a a bit pathetic to be honest. Complaining that your misleading ads were complained about or that Countdown sells lotto tickets is just whining.

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66 Responses to “Has it turned to just mindless bashing of Countdown?”

  1. kowtow (8,444 comments) says:

    I’d prefer a one armed bandit in the supermarket rather than the IRD who are the legalised two armed bandits standing over every aspect of our lives, taxing us in order to keep Shane Jones and his feckless constituents living a lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

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  2. Coaster (6 comments) says:

    The Lotto tickets are now at every checkout.

    They used to be in a separate section, but now you cannot avoid them.

    It’s bad enough waiting for someone to authorise every single cigarette and wine purchase for customers in the line ahead of me – now I’m going to have to wait for Lotto approvals as well.

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  3. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    Finally after years of bashing pubs over pokies, Jones the bombastic other pretend PM finally realises that Lotto is also gambling.
    “Thats nice”, pity he takes so long to work out which way is up.

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  4. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    I think most of this is bs and have started shopping at Countdown because of it. The thought of being left with only one supermarket chain should be a caution to anyone who is persuaded by Joness’ self-serving hysteria

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  5. budgieboy (113 comments) says:

    I’ve said from the get go that Shane Jones is just over the top on this and the more he goes on with the hyperbole the lower he falls in my opinion.

    Good post from DFP sums up so much of what I was thinking!

    Shane Jones is displaying his true leftist leanings where the ends justify the means.

    Throw a business AND ITS STAFF to the wolves for no real reason other that cheap political advantage? Of course, that’s what they do.

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  6. A.J (4 comments) says:

    Our nearest Mad Butcher outlet has a lotto terminal right at the checkout.It has been like that for at least 7 years .So now Morton and Jones are saying Countdown cannot do the same.Just 2 loudmouth tossers.

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  7. Keeping Stock (10,337 comments) says:

    Shane Jones’ repeated references to Countdown as the “Aussie-owned supermarket” are starting to sound like an audition for the leadership of Winston First.

    And Labour’s so-called concern for problem gambling is pretty hollow when amongst their 2014 candidates is a bloke who sets odds and encourages people to gamble at the TAB.

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/a-tactical-blunder-from-shane-jones.html

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  8. duggledog (1,555 comments) says:

    I don’t buy Lotto tickets they are buying a dream

    Countdown’s meat and fish sections are over priced and crap compared to Pak n Save’s.

    Mad Butcher sells meat from old boner cows

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  9. radvad (765 comments) says:

    Jones has made sure he has an escape option available if and when the Commerce Commission clears Countdown. By making sure submissions can be anonymous (whatever happened to the age old principle of being able to face your accuser) Jones can just claim that suppliers were too scared to come forward so the “Aussie owned corporate” wins again.
    Jones is just another blowhard politician.

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  10. Brian Marshall (202 comments) says:

    If DPF can break down Shane Jones’s argument so succinctly why don’t the media? The answer is plainly clear that apart from Paul Henry TV3 is a Labour Party mouth piece. With TVNZ being the Labour Party training ground, it’s no wonder why I hardly watch the BS that passes for news now days.

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  11. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    Its the hypocrisy that does my head in.

    On the one hand we have Labour and the Greens launching milk price inquiries and moaning about the cost of fruit and veg, then they go around criticising the practices of the sector most likely to keep those prices down.

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  12. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    It is not the fact that they sell Lotto tickets, or even that they are available at check out that worries me.

    It is the fact that they are included in the ‘total’ of the grocery spend, which has several implications:-

    1. A person on a limited budget is then encouraged to purchase lotto as part of their ‘food’ bill.

    2. The Gambling Legislation states very clearly that credit can not be used to purchase these tickets, however, people can pay their checkout total with a credit card – now that total can include lotto tickets, which is effectively using credit to gamble.

    3. The same applies for the many people that for whatever reason are given a WINZ food grant. Now that grant can be used to purchase lotto tickets, without WINZ being remotely aware.

    4. It normalises the purchasing of lotto as just part of the responsibility of ‘feeding’ the family. Okay, for most intelligent people they can see the difference – not all people are ‘intelligent’.

    Sell them at checkouts by all means if they must, but make it compulsory to be a separate cash transaction.

    Regarding Countdown. There is never smoke without fire, I have seen and heard too many people complain about their trading practices to believe they are ‘squeaky’ clean. That includes friends who produce specialty cheeses that were ‘held to ransom’ by the firm. They willingly told them where to stick themselves – because what countdown was wanting basically dropped their profits to 2.5% and increased countdown’s by five times that amount. Three months later Countdown was willing to ‘talk’ about it, as they had received so many requests for the product. The reply is not printable.

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  13. tvb (4,418 comments) says:

    But your lotto online. No worries about lost tickets and there is greater anonymity and much more convenient. Forget the Supermarkets.

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  14. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Regarding the sale of alcohol.

    Perhaps DPF should check how many Countdown stores were part of notifications regarding selling alcohol to minors, and he might not be so supportive.

    I read a case study done in Lower Hutt a few years back when the local Countdown was open 24 hours. The amount of drunken teenagers causing problems in the Hutt with violence, littering, and drunken behaviour was getting out of hand, particularly on the river bank – just opposite the Countdown supermarket. A covert operation by the Police, WRPH, and the Council found that the large majority of the Alcohol came from Countdown and was being sold to minors.

    Hence Countdown sale of alcohol was reduced in hours. They then discovered it was not worth opening 24 hours without alcohol to sell, so reduced their trading hours.

    I wonder if DPF etc have bothered to survey just how many people actually do their grocery shopping after 9 p.m. or whether in fact, between 9 pm and midnight, the majority of shoppers are convenience shoppers, primarily purchasing cheap alcohol because it is unavailable anywhere else to takeaway at that time?

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  15. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Judith.

    The reason that Countdown and other large businesses operate in this manner is so that their customers can get the lowest price.

    Your friends who produce speciality cheeses need to approach their retail from from a quality perspective. They make Quality Cheeses, not run of the mill, everyday products. The fact that Countdown was receiving requests for the product serves to prove this and would have been a factor in the negotiations, should your friends have the business acumen to realise this.

    From a business perspective, they are cutting off their nose to spite their face, and they must realise that it is business, not personal. Too many people take business matters personally, to their detriment. To burn your bridges like your friend has, may not be the most wise action. A proper response would have been printable, such as “We believe that it is not in the best interests of our business, and our brand, to range our product in your business at this time, as the propsed arrangement would not be in our best advantage.”

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  16. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    They get almost $200 million a year from people voluntarily playing Lotto.

    And how many ‘billion’ has to be spent by those ‘volunatary’ players (that is, removed from the community), in order for the community to get $ 200 million back, plus of course the prize money that goes back to individuals?

    In 2011 it was $926 million dollars, since then the options and therefore the take have increased.

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  17. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ slightlyrighty (2,448 comments) says:
    April 6th, 2014 at 8:12 am

    But countdown does not sell the lowest price. Their prices are almost never as low as Pak n Save, who don’t resort to the same stand over tactics.

    It is not worth their effort for a 2.5% profit margin. They have successfully extended their business in other areas and have just been contracted to supply to Countdown’s Australian opposition, who aren’t quite so greedy.

    You should try giving the advice of personal and business to Countdown’s operators, from the documentation I’ve seen, they clearly don’t know the difference, and get very personal.

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  18. lolitasbrother (691 comments) says:

    I went to Pete’s chicken shop, just south of the big retailer Countdown to nowhere,
    I said to my dear wife
    ” look here woman, you can see for yourself chicken breasts at $12 a kg.
    lots of Estrogen there but who cares,
    She said yes dear husband,
    do you think my breasts too small.
    I said ” you are the most beautiful girl in the world” and forever.

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  19. Andrew (84 comments) says:

    I don’t think it’s good to be encouraging people to treat lotto as part of their weekly grocery shopping.

    Personally I think lotto is the least harmful type of gambling and yes, buying a lotto ticket is a personal choice. However gambling also has a direct influence on those personal choices. It uses a kind of reinforcement schedule that maximises the chances of that personal choice being made again and again. Now it will be even more effective, because you don’t need to make an active decision to walk over to the lotto counter.

    Yes it will be more convenient for some. But do we really need to make it as easy as possible for people to spend part of their weekly grocery budget on lotto?

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  20. lolitasbrother (691 comments) says:

    yes Andrew above , Andrew April 6th, 2014 at 8:31 am
    My Thai Wife goes in there and spend money on lotto.
    She come out says ” Husband next day we rich soon”
    You would think that I could tell the dear wife about chances, but alas not,
    she lives with me on the premise that life will improve, what can I do

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  21. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    And how many ‘billion’ has to be spent by those ‘voluntary’ players…in order for the community to get $ 200 million back

    The value that most ticket-buyers get is intangible, obviously. As the man said, it’s about ‘buying a dream': intangible but real value. As with every free trade, both parties benefit. There is no $200 million to be returned to anybody.

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  22. Rich Prick (1,700 comments) says:

    If Lotto in supermarkets gets Jones exercised, he’d positively wet himself at what he might see at the baggage claim at Las Vagas airport. He’s either over-egging it now, or he truly believes that no one has a jot of self control nor a speck of personal responsibility.

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  23. Keeping Stock (10,337 comments) says:

    @ Rich Prick – the New Zealand Labour Party; saving people from and about making decisions for themselves since, like forever.

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  24. OneTrack (3,089 comments) says:

    If CountDown is so bad, why does anybody still shop there or try and sell their products there? Oh. Wait.

    Yes, dpf, it has just turned to mindless bashing of the big, bad, aussie company. The main reason is that the left has nothing else. Jones started well but now he is just jumping the shark.

    Who is the next real leadership contender now that Jones is lost it? It MUST be time for Jacinda to have a go. Reason 1 – she couldn’t possibly do any worse than anyone we have seen on the last 6 years.

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  25. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Rich Prick (1,305 comments) says:
    April 6th, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I suspect Jones is getting a little excited, and needs to pull his head in. I don’t think Countdown is ‘snowy white’ by any means, but like all campaigns, one has to be careful not to swing too far, and actually end up, as appears to be the case here, having the baddie, become the victim.

    I think Jones is spot on with his criticism of the lotto, but needs to wait for the commerce commission’s report regarding the other matters.

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  26. Keeping Stock (10,337 comments) says:

    We’ll try that again, with the words in the correct order :D

    @ Rich Prick – the New Zealand Labour Party; saving people from making decisions for and about themselves since, like forever.

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  27. Viking2 (11,467 comments) says:

    Its not just countdown screwing Kiwi’s. Other aussies are right up there as well.

    Big banks charging top dollar

    By Susan Edmunds
    4:15 AM Sunday Apr 6, 2014
    Banking

    Borrowers in NZ pay more interest than in Australia.

    Our big, Australian-owned banks are making more money out of New Zealand customers than those across the ditch – raising questions about whether Kiwi customers are being treated fairly.

    The difference means a Kiwi pays more than $20,000 extra over the lifetime of a $400,000 mortgage.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11233004

    Still successive Govt.’s have managed successfully to give away our sovereignty, our businesses and our money.
    Not theirs you see.

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  28. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @Rich Prick: Yup… they’re hard to miss….

    But whatever you do, don’t tell the gambling zealots here any more, because they’ll become apoplectic at the thought of it… :D

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  29. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Keeping Stock (9,767 comments) says:
    April 6th, 2014 at 9:29 am

    saving people from making decisions for and about themselves since, like forever.

    So you would argue that ALL New Zealander’s are capable of making decisions for and about themselves that are in the best interests of a well functioning society, then?

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  30. beautox (422 comments) says:

    @lolitasbrother – sounds like you married a stupid Thai – my own Thai wife of 20 years knows that Lotto is a tax on lack-of-math-skillz-and-general-stupidity and would never buy a lotto ticket.

    Shane Jones : did anyone notice when he was asked a difficult question on the TV interview, that he claimed “I can’t say that because of parliamentary rules”….what bullshit – he’s clearly meaning “I can’t say that outside parliament or I’d get my ass sued off”

    Typical fucking liar polly. Would have made a great labour party leader.

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  31. CharlieBrown (1,011 comments) says:

    I have no sympathy for Countdown, I know for a fact that their behaviour is disgraceful. I know of small suppliers who only sell to foodstuffs because of the bullying behaviour of countdown’s tactics eg, paying for their loss-leading specials, paying listing application fees, paying for stock not sold. I also know that they used the RMA to oppose competition coming to our town for years, which meant that we had a supermarket that had empty shelves on key products because their store wasn’t big enough to supply our town.

    I have made my decision as a consumer and stopped shopping at countdown, but it isn’t just on principle, it is also on the fact that countdowns product range is pathetic. If I ever have a slightly complex recipe, countdown won’t have what i need. Its funny watching their sponsored cooking shows and seeing product that foodstuffs stock yet countdown doesn’t being used.

    In hindsight it was a mistake making the supermarket sector a duopoly, I actually really hope the Commerce commission forces a breakup of countdown

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  32. Neil (586 comments) says:

    I watrched the interviews on The Nation yesterday and say I was appalled at the tenor of the whole situation.
    Muddling up lotto operations,meat retailing and commercial practices made for a very biased programme.
    The public are always going to be angry about the supermarket duopoly no matter- Foodstuffs are no better or worse than Countdown., Both Countdown and Foodstuffs depend on volume for their profits- their margins are wafer thin.
    What really concerns me is that Shane Jones is riding the Anti-Australian band wagon in this campaign after reports from Australia about anti-NZ product practices. Most of which are quite unverified. Jones sees this as a great way to appeal to the ignorant in the NZ population who are haters of the current duopoly in NZ.Cunliffe couldn’t care less.
    As for the Mad Butcher ceo Mr Morton, I wouldn’t take too much credo out of his vague comments. His claims etc should be subjected to a more rigorous scrutiny. I wouldn’t be buying any shares in his company which is still associated with Sir Peter Leitch. The Mad Butcher is synonymous to Peter Leitch but in reality I don’t think he has any holding in that company.
    After watching Winston Peters today on Q&A the election campaign seems bound to be fought on conspiracy theories and prejudices. God help New Zealand if we have people like Winston Peters and Shane Jones feedinbg that angriness ofa small section of ignorant kiwis !!

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  33. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    So you would argue that ALL New Zealander’s are capable of making decisions for and about themselves that are in the best interests of a well functioning society, then?

    What sort of communist/fascist crap is that?

    People just need to look after themselves and their families. The rest will follow.

    Indeed, government must be based on the very presumption that just about everyone is capable of runing their own lives. Unfortunately, too many people have the arrogance and hubris to assume that they know better than the rest of us and that, for our own good, they must take coercive power over us in order to run our lives and ban us from things they don’t approve of. Witness the New Zealand Fascist Party (aka the Greens).

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  34. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    In hindsight it was a mistake making the supermarket sector a duopoly, I actually really hope the Commerce commission forces a breakup of countdown

    The leftists here disagree with you. That is, if they are consistent with their ideas about schooling. If anything, two supermarket chains is one too many.

    A monopoly would clearly be a good thing.

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  35. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ wat dabney (3,403 comments) says:
    April 6th, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Whilst I agree that the majority should be capable, there will always be a number in society that for various reasons, be it self-inflicted or some other cause, that are unable to take care of themselves, and who do not have responsible others to do it for them. I believe the government must, in all their dealings take this group of people into account and acknowledge through legislation their inability to make decisions for themselves.

    Included in that are children who, in an ideal world should be taken care of by their families, however, some parents/families, have proved beyond any doubt, that they are not capable of the task – for that reason it is necessary for the govt to legislate, take action to ensure, that they are able to enforce whatever needs to be done, to ensure they are cared for.

    I believe (and I know the civil libertarians will hate this) that there are a number of people that simply for one reason or another, are not capable of making a rational choice. The question is, in my mind, how much should those of us who can make such a decision, be limited by those that can’t? How much should those of us that can, have to pay to take care of those that can’t? etc.

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  36. OneTrack (3,089 comments) says:

    “A monopoly would clearly be a good thing”

    A big state Ministry of Food would be “wonderful”. And Robyn Toomath would be the person who chooses which food is actually sold. Any colour you want, as long as it is grey. What could go wrong?

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  37. OneTrack (3,089 comments) says:

    Judith – The lefty view is that everybody is incapable of making their own decisions and that big state must decide for them.

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  38. rangitoto (247 comments) says:

    “What sort of communist/fascist crap is that?”

    Judith knows best what’s good for you wat.

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  39. rangitoto (247 comments) says:

    “Whilst I agree that the majority should be capable, there will always be a number in society that for various reasons, be it self-inflicted or some other cause, that are unable to take care of themselves, and who do not have responsible others to do it for them”

    But we will let them vote until we establish a one party state comrade.

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  40. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ OneTrack (1,918 comments) says:
    April 6th, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Well that is crap isn’t it. The very large majority can, however, there will also be a small amount that can’t, and therefore that needs to be addressed, but in such a way that it does not impede significantly on the freedoms of others.

    e.g. the elderly woman whose daughter left her to sit in her own waste, had maggots in her leg wounds etc. However, the daughter said her mother had made the decision she wanted to stay where she was, clearly she was not capable of making such a decision, and in such cases, the state needs to have the power to intervene.

    The issue is finding a reasonable balance. I don’t believe that is a ‘communist stance’ at all, or any of the other accusations.

    Perhaps, those so quick to criticse, can provide an opinion of how such decisions should be addressed?

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  41. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Coaster posted at 7.22:

    The Lotto tickets are now at every checkout.

    Not in the city where I shop.

    Supermarket chains must be tough for some suppliers, but they keep prices down for us consumers. If they’re too tough for some suppliers, these growers, manufacturers etc may be able to break the supply chain on their own or in groups by setting up specialist type self-serve bulk stores, or better, IMHO, by just going on the Net and making pick-up or delivery – and payment -convenient.

    Aussie bashing is infantile. We’re economically all but part of Australia. As milk-powder prices drop they will probably soon be our biggest trade partner again, and in services from insurance to retailing they are overwhelmingly our biggest partner.

    If someone in Shanghai or Milwaukee tells you they can tell a New Zealander from an Australian they are just flattering you. If the Aussies opened their welfare services fully to us, there might be bugger all people left in NZ except Chinese retirees and, in a few remote valleys, Maori traditionalists.

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  42. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Makes one more inclined to shop at Countdown . . . one thing I detest is lefties, and to have one telling me where to shop is worse.

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  43. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    I’m in the business. Countdown and Foodstuffs are exactly the same.

    All of us are waiting to see what the new Foodstuffs North Island will mean for us.

    It’s really time that the NZ Government enacted anti-trust laws and broke the duopoly.

    I wait with baited breath! :)

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  44. goldnkiwi (1,304 comments) says:

    Waiting at the bank to make a deposit, while someone is sold insurance, is more annoying than lotto at supermarkets.

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  45. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    Well worth reading is Tim Watkin’s response over at Pundit:

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/open-letter-to-david-farrar-on-his-erroneous-kiwiblog-post-re-countdown

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  46. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    If you pop into Naenae New World eszett you will find the Lotto about two feet from the express checkout. Been there for years. Guess you could scratch your arse and say it wasn’t being sold at the checkout. Fukin Countdown…..fukin Aussie bastards…!! :)

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  47. doggone7 (801 comments) says:

    So what’s wrong with mindless bashing? Kiwiblog is against mindless bashing? Dammit, typo, ‘against’ slipped in there!

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  48. cha (4,010 comments) says:

    Oops.

    .

    Third, I’m curious how you know about the contents of the letter. No-one on the select committee would release it to us or even confirm its contents; doing so would have broken privilege. So I can only assume that either an MP has leaked it to you at risk of a privileges committee hearing or that you’ve been briefed by Countdown on this. Isn’t that something you should declare openly?

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/open-letter-to-david-farrar-on-his-erroneous-kiwiblog-post-re-countdown

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  49. Weepus beard (2 comments) says:

    “Four out of five products in the Countdown basket couldn’t be purchased at the time, and 1kg meat packs couldn’t usually be bought at Countdown.”

    Says it all really. As soon as Countdown feel aggrieved at some honest competition they go into lawyer mode. All the while not being able to provide the food that regular Kiwis want.

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  50. itstricky (1,830 comments) says:

    cha

    Opps indeed.

    It seems you either missed The Nation, haven’t read the transcripts (here and here) or are being purposefully mischievous. So I’d ask you to check your facts before you criticise TV3; or don’t post from Nepal.

    Ho de ho. He also don’t pull no punches. Deserves to be posted on one of the photo op. pieces… ;)

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  51. eszett (2,408 comments) says:

    Johnboy (13,280 comments) says:
    April 6th, 2014 at 8:35 pm
    If you pop into Naenae New World eszett you will find the Lotto about two feet from the express checkout. Been there for years. Guess you could scratch your arse and say it wasn’t being sold at the checkout. Fukin Countdown…..fukin Aussie bastards…!!

    Guess you could ask if it makes no difference whether they are sold at the checkout or after the checkout, why did Countdown spend so much money on moving the sales to the checkout counters?

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  52. joninalex (1 comment) says:

    point number 3 of judiths, 3. The same applies for the many people that for whatever reason are given a WINZ food grant. Now that grant can be used to purchase lotto tickets, without WINZ being remotely aware. Well my guessing will be that this is not the case. The checkouts already wont let you use a winz card for alcohol and tobacco so my guess lotto will be added to this list

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  53. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Oops.

    You surprised? It’s become pretty obvious that this blog and Whale are organs of the National Party.

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  54. cha (4,010 comments) says:

    Surprised, no, but it’s nice to see that he’s being called on something that could be a breach of privilege.

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  55. wikiriwhis business (3,996 comments) says:

    Whale tried to bring up the US/globalist argument that Lotto is bad for the poor. But that lost traction when large powerball prizes were won all over the country. Whale has gone silent.

    Now Jones has changed tack on the argument which is hugely frail just to keep it in the media.

    I see the real problem is a threat from large winners in helping community issues that govt is neglecting. Funding is always being diverted from social issues, the latest being problem gambling. But hugely embarrassing to govt if private entities fund well planned out financial initiatives that govt has plainly walked away from. The answer can only lie in restricting prizes. Jones only possible strategy which will find no resistance from National.

    Both sides of the house are wary of financial power in the community.

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  56. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    That was a pretty comprehensive fisking of DPF.

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  57. wikiriwhis business (3,996 comments) says:

    Fisking…as in disagreeance?

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  58. wikiriwhis business (3,996 comments) says:

    “It’s really time that the NZ Government enacted anti-trust laws and broke the duopoly.”

    Hence the war of corporates against capitalism and J Keys role in that corporate war where the corporates now own over 51% of the US and control that nation. hence the breakdown of the middle class which began in NZ under Muldoon.

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  59. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Actually, a reader corrected the fallacy perpetuated by cha / itstricky et al, in one of the few comments that followed Watkin’s piece:

    by Dave Guerin on April 07, 2014. Tim, I just saw a writer at The Standard made a big deal about David Farrar getting a copy of a letter from the commerce select committee, as you suggested above. But if you read Farrar’s original post, he just paraphrases the story at the link he gave, which was a TV3 story from The Nation. The TV3 story says: “We have asked the select committee for a record of what was said at their recent meeting because it affects our business,” Countdown communications manager Kate Porter told NZ Newswire. David Farrar said: The so called threatening letter merely asks for a transcript of the last hearing – which is a routine request. Looks to me like Farrar was just quoting from your own show’s story.

    Exactly.

    If you’re going to take shots at someone, best you make sure the gun isn’t loaded with blanks. But given this ‘beat up’ is linked to the Stranded / Watkin / TV3 – it’s hardly a surprise.

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  60. cha (4,010 comments) says:

    Perhaps you could show where in the either of transcript Watkins linked to are the contents of the letter referred to.

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  61. Left Right and Centre (2,975 comments) says:

    I buy groceries after 10pm hoping to avoid dorks like Judith.

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  62. Left Right and Centre (2,975 comments) says:

    I’m reading Tim Watkin’s reply….

    I can see where he’s coming from with one point – the ‘been buying from NW for a decade’ bit confuses me too – there’s a distinction between buying at a separate counter or buying from the checkout.

    I’d say that’s a huge compliment to DPF, and KB commentariats, that we are all collectively worthy of TW’s not inconsiderable effort in replying. Well done everyone – we’re relevant !! Yeehaa !! We Matter, oh dear Judy – we matter with a gravity big enough to suck TV bigshots toward us – how do you like your eggs Ethel ? Yeah !!

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  63. Left Right and Centre (2,975 comments) says:

    Ok – let me get this straight – Tim Watkins is a filthy dirty piece of shit socialist commie who I wouldn’t mind bringing Redbaiter back for just to see him go supernova with champagne invective….

    TW is a part of the ‘certain people are so unbelievably thick and retarded that we must tell them what to do for their own good because we know better than they do and must protect them from themselves’ bandwagon.

    And we’ll do that by throwing everything nanny state can muster and watch out because here comes the fucking kitchen sink at your head which you now have no chance of fending off with your arms and everything else tied up by a fucking straightjacket of restrictions and loss of personal freedom of choice, living in a society where you can’t fart without having your climate change contribution card credited by planting a tree in the fucking town belt first.

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  64. Left Right and Centre (2,975 comments) says:

    Oh yeah – I’ve got an actual point here somewhere…

    (1) Lotto / TAB / pokies / casino blah blah all forms of gambling. Sure sure.

    (2) (i) Lotto is cold gambling. (ii) TAB / pokies are hot gambling.

    Cold gambling means there’s no instant gratification to it. You’ve got to wait for the draw, which is Sat or Weds etc. Yeah, there’s Keno which is daily – but you’ve got to wait for the draw.

    Hot gambling is where a problem gambler can get sucked in by the amount of times they can play and get a win or loss result. Online betting or local TAB ? I’ll just place one more bet. Ok, just one more. Ok, just one more. See the difference ? And there’s the ‘thrill ride’ watching your horse try to win. Or a scratch ticket – you get a result on the spot if you want. And then you think I enjoyed that rush – let’s have another one. The rush. You can keep repeating the rush. You can’t do that with lotto. You’ve got to wait for the rush at draw time. You can’t get hooked on the rush in the meantime and keep spending the kids breakfast money.

    Long-term players don’t even bother with the ‘thrill ride’ part of lotto anyway, seeing as the vast majority are resigned to funding the few winners. They check their tickets the same way you clear your letterbox.

    It’s like putting a pokie at the checkout

    Is it ? Shane Jones used that line too. It’s really not. What a load of old cobblers. Shane – come on mate – stop playing dumb.

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  65. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    I do not have the same sort of sympathy for Countdown that DPF has. They opened the door with Cartel type behaviour and have to live with the consequences. There is a very clear message in this for duopolies like the supermarkets. If you are caught abusing the market domination that you have the market is going to react and that reaction may not always be rational.

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  66. Couchpotatoe (33 comments) says:

    The Pundit has fairly well put DPF back into his box on this issue.

    Both Supermarket Chains are highly predatory but only on behalf of the buying public.

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