Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shane Jones and the Fast Moving Consumer Goods Sector

Shane Jones has come out swinging against the NZ supermarket duopoly, using Parliamentary Privilege to accuse the Countdown supermarket chain of blackmailing NZ suppliers.

For once, the Labour Party is timely in its exploitation of this old rort. It comes as the Oz supermarket chains launch an aggressive Buy Australian campaign, excluding NZ suppliers out of spite at times, as Rod Oram points out. Apparently, Jones even has the support of ex-Nat Katherine Rich on the matter.

This shit has traction. There's all sorts of muck lurking in the dark world of supplier/wholesaler/retailer relations. Monopolies are flying below the radar of even the Commerce Commission, one of the gems of the much-maligned Fourth Labour Government. One easy policy would be to grunt-up the Commerce Commission and give it fierce teeth. A small economy such as NZ needs a certain regulatory gravitas.