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National Maori Authority Chair slams Foodstuffs - defends Maori business

National Maori Authority slams Foodstuffs for dropping New Zealander seafood company, asks them why New Zealand fish and jobs are no longer good enough

The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has slammed the decision of Foodstuffs, one of New Zealanders largest supermarket chains for pulling Sealord products from its shelves. Tukaki has called the decision stupid, bewildering and downright an a front to Maori interests:

“Let’s be really clear here – this large supermarket chain are going to do what? Import fish from overseas? Import low and substandard products in stark opposition not only to products that are sourced sustainably by a New Zealand owned business – a largely Maori owned business?” Tukaki said

“What I find incredible is they talk about supporting local industry – what are those fish not New Zealand enough for you Foodstuffs? Is it because the company is part Maori owned? Is it that those hundreds of New Zealand jobs are not good enough for you? They have a lot of explaining to do and in the meantime they need to take a hard and cold look at exactly who they are supporting” Tukaki has said

A move by Foodstuffs to slash the amount of Sealord products sold in its North Island supermarkets will have a “detrimental impact” on the Nelson-based business, its chief executive says.

Sealord was this week weighing the impact on its business after Foodstuffs announced a “significant reduction” in the products it would sell in its North Island supermarkets that would cut products on the shelves by 50 to 80 per cent, chief executive Doug Paulin said.

The changes will take effect from November 1 after Foodstuff’s North Island supermarkets reviewed the products sold in its freezers.

“The other point I would make is that we all have a responsibility to build our local enterprise up and not shaft them at a moments notice. And that’s why I am calling on all New Zealanders to make their voices heard and put a stop at the offshoring of our supply chains and support local enterprise. In fact I would go even further – boycott Foodstuffs and take your wallets, handbags and eftpos cards to chains that do support local products” Tukaki said

Tukaki said the National Maori Authority wants to see the decision reversed and said job certainty and a time of great uncertainty must be paramount.

Sealord employs more than 1000 people in New Zealand and 230 overseas. and is jointly owned between Maori and a Japanese company.


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