New World Taumarunui is out of the blocks and open for business after spending 15 months trading from the local athletics club. The country’s newest supermarket represents a $14 million investment in the area and offers a 40% larger store bringing the latest design, technology and a wider range to the local community.
The rebuild has been led by local owner operator of New World Taumarunui, Aiyad Khan, with support from Foodstuffs North Island and the whole New World Taumarunui team.
Foodstuffs North Island is a co-operative of 350 grocers who own and operate their local New World, PAK’nSAVE and Four Square stores in communities around the North Island.
Aiyad Khan, says: “When my family and I came to Taumarunui in 2020, we knew a new store was in the pipeline. It was only due to the support of the community that we were able to move into the athletics club and keep trading. Arriving in town during a global pandemic was a great way to connect with the locals. We had teachers from Turaki Primary School across the road helping us stack shelves in the athletics club so we could open for business and the whole community reached out. I’m extremely grateful for the support we received.”
Having traded from the athletics club for 15 months, Foodstuffs North Island is determined to thank the community by upgrading the building. Khan says: “Our builders and electricians will be at the athletics club for the next couple of weeks as part of a really significant makeover. The club rooms are in for a full refurb and modernisation with all the other areas getting a well-deserved facelift. We’ve got LED lighting in and security cameras setup and will also replace the hot water tanks and give the outside a good general tidy up to make it better than ever before. It’s our way of saying thank you to the people of Taumarunui.”
The new store has been re-designed to meet the needs of the local community explains Khan: “The focus is on freshness and convenience. It’s been a long time coming for the people of Taumarunui and offers a full range of everyday essentials as-well-as plenty of grab and go products and more premium items.”
“We’ve got a much bigger range of fresh foods and have made some significant upgrades to the bakery, deli, butchery, seafood counter and frozen department. We’ve also got lots of special products that locals are going to love, like sushi made in store, fried bread, hāngī pork and pigs heads.”
The new store has a specially commissioned five metre by two and a half metre tōtara carving called ‘Nau Mai Ki Te Ao Hou’ which depicts the Māori food gods. Translating to mean ‘Welcome to New World’, it was made by local carvers from Ngāti Hāua; Rewhiri Tarapata, Brett Te Kene, Kopeke Te Wiki and Mitchell Crown and the tōtara was sourced locally before being shaped using traditional methods over the space of three months. Situated in the kūwaha or store entrance, Nau Mai Ki Te Ao Hou will welcome future generations of shoppers to New World Taumarunui.
Aiyad Khan started his Foodstuffs career in 1999 when he joined New World Victoria Park as a part time check out operator. Over the space of nine years, he covered a range of roles spanning grocery, storeroom, buying and pricing. In 2008 Aiyad joined Foodstuffs wholesale business Gilmours, where he spent the next eight years before joining the team at PAK’nSAVE Sylvia Park as Fresh Foods Manager and then as Operations Manager. In 2018 Aiyad became Store Manager at PAK’nSAVE Kaitaia before stints at Island Bay New World and PAK’nSAVE Silverdale.
Growing up in a small Fijian town, Taumarunui feels like home for Aiyad Khan and his family: “Rural Taumarunui and the lifestyle that comes with it is just fantastic. Living around farms and animals is something I had growing up and my family and I love it here. While this is my first store, it feels like my third having operated from the old store, the temporary store and now we’re finally here!”
New World Taumarunui was officially opened by Janet Brown and Joy Levein, two Grocery Assistants who cut the ribbon after starting at New World Taumarunui 28 years ago.
New World Taumarunui is located at 10 Hakiaha Street, Taumarunui, 3920 and is open seven days a week from 7am to 8pm.
For up-to-date information on the store and opening day activities, go to New World Taumarunui’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Newworldtaumarunui
New World Taumarunui in Numbers:
• $14m million dollar investment in the local community
• 2,200 square metres
• 40% bigger than the previous store
• Will employ around 90 people
• 98 car parks including dedicated spaces for parents with children and for customers with trailers
• Six self-checkouts
• Three months – the time it took local carvers to create ‘Nau Mai Ki Te Ao Hou’ a totara carving in the stores kūwaha or entrance. The names translates as ‘Welcome to New World’
• New World Taumarunui has traded from the local Athletics Club for 15 months whilst the new store was being built
• Foodstuffs North Island first began trading from the site over five decades ago