Two Foodstuff South Island stores fined for violating trading hours

  • 19/01/2023

Two Foodstuff stores in Otago have been fined for operating during Good Friday for the past two years.

The Ministry of Business said Greta Enterprises Limited, trading as Wanaka New World, and Aspiring Foodmarket Limited, trading as New World Three Parks, violated the Shop Trading Hours Act by opening on Good Friday in 2022 and 2021.

By law, shops must be closed on Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and until 1:00pm on ANZAC Day unless exempted.

Despite being sent warning letters from the Ministry, the straws willfully chose to open in a "blatant violation of the law", regional manager labour inspectorate Loua Ward said.

"As a leader and major employer in the retail sector, it is extremely disappointing to see a prominent group like Foodstuffs South Island’s having two owner/operators blatantly choosing to ignore their legal responsibilities and focus on profit making," Ward said. 

"By comparison, Foodstuffs North Island Co-operative and Countdown were both responsible corporate citizens who complied with the law."

The two stores have been fined $750 for the violation where the maximum penalty can be up to $1000.

Emma Wooster, the head of public relations at Foodstuffs, said many South Island communities rely on tourism to thrive and after COVID-19-related challenges, both owner-operated stores in Wanaka wanted to play their part in serving the community and visitors over the Easter holidays.

"The motivation to open the two stores wasn't profit driven, but a desire to contribute to the community by allowing visitors to buy essential groceries - and have a great experience in this beautiful town, which would benefit the whole community in the longer-term," Wooster said.

"Foodstuffs owner operators are embedded in their communities and support them in many ways. They're employers, often of 100's of locals, providers of apprenticeships and pathways to meaningful careers, they're sponsors of local sports teams, enablers of community initiatives, they work with local foodbanks and food rescue organisations to make sure mainlanders have access to food when they need it - and they give a leg up to kiwi entrepreneurs, making space on their shelves to give their products a go and help them to fly, sometimes onto the international stage."