Update from the Grocery Commissioner

Update from the Grocery Commissioner

Ngā mihi o te tau hou, I hope your 2024 is off to a great start!

I’ve got a real passion for this sector and am excited to be sharing my inaugural quarterly newsletter to update you on the sector and our work programme – giving you the information you need to help contribute to our common objective – delivering better outcomes for Kiwi consumers and opportunities for retailers and suppliers to flourish in this $25 billion sector. 

In talking to people across the sector, I think it’s fair to say there is a sense of pride in the focus on the grocery sector – major supermarkets, suppliers, and new and expanding entrants – and the important role you all play as part of this ecosystem that fuels New Zealanders, their homes, and livelihoods. I know that you are also aware that the expectations of achieving greater competition and delivering meaningful outcomes for New Zealanders are higher than ever.

When I started in the newly created a role as Grocery Commissioner in July last year, I said to achieve greater competition in the sector is a long game, to create long-term, sustainable change for the benefit of Kiwi consumers.

Part of achieving this is ensuring that you play your part in helping the sector to deliver on this opportunity. Whether you’re a regulated supermarket or expanding retailer, supplier, or another stakeholder – it’s important you understand your obligations, exercise your rights, and please bring important information which could be hampering competition to the Commission’s attention.

Within our Grocery team, we have been monitoring the implementation of new regulatory requirements by major supermarkets, including the wholesale regime and grocery supply code, further discussed in this newsletter. We are also focused on requesting information from the major supermarkets to help us with our first annual monitoring report to be published this year. This report will look at how competition is working in the sector. I will have more to share on this soon so watch this space.

Success of the new grocery regime relies on everyone playing their part, and I am heartened by the level of support I am getting from across the sector. I encourage you all to read up on your obligations, bring any potential issues or matters forward to us and understand your rights.

My team and I will continue to keep you updated with key developments, reminders around compliance and deadlines, and issues. I can assure you that we will continue to call out concerning behaviour and take action where needed so we can deliver on our long-term goal.

A well-functioning market is good for all of us and together we will be able to deliver better prices, better quality innovation, and consumer choice.

Tēnā koutou katoa

Pierre van Heerden

Grocery Commissioner

If you wish to get in touch with the grocery team or subscribe to the newsletter, please contact grocery.regulation@comcom.govt.nz.

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