Piles of meat could be heading to the tip after butchers were told last minute they wouldn’t be able to open on Thursday – New Zealand’s first day of COVID-19 lockdown.
The list of essential businesses was confirmed late on Wednesday leaving many caught out and still confused.
Mike Hanson of Netherby Meats had stocked up for the lockdown but instead of it being sold to customers, it will now have to be given away or thrown out.
“In the back chiller – we’ve probably got four or five beasts for the shop and 30 hoggets to put somewhere, and the freezer is not big enough to store all of this,” he told Newshub.
On Wednesday morning, Hanson was given the green light to open as an “essential business” from both his local MP and Retail Meat New Zealand. Hours later, the Government ruled otherwise.
If dairies can open, why not butchers? They both only sell stuff you can get in supermarkets?
Right next door to his butcher, a dairy is open for business as usual.
“They’re selling smokes and coke and fizzy drinks – and what are they doing open?”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday if the Government allowed every food outlet to open, “we wouldn’t achieve what we need to achieve”.
Butchers do, however, have the support of the National Party who think this rule does require a rethink.
“If there is a greengrocer beside a dairy, or a butcher beside a dairy, they can’t open,” National MP Todd McClay said. “That doesn’t really make a lot of sense.”
There’s a huge difference between every food outlet and butchers selling meat that people need to cook. They have a far bigger range than many supermarkets also, especially for people intolerant of gluten.
There was a 100 metre queue to get into my local supermarket. You’re at mroe risk having to spend 90 minutes at the supermarket than five minutes at a butcher’s shop.