Don’t need govt to be CoOl

The furore over Australian supermarket chains shutting out New Zealand products and produce has refuelled the cries for compulsory country of origin labelling (CoOL).

I like to know where food I buy comes from and it does influence what I buy.

But there’s no need for the government to get involved.

C0OL isn’t difficult for fresh produce and single ingredient products.

The supermarkets I usually shop at already have CoOL for most of their food, where they can.

They’re responding to customer demand and if it’s good for business they’ll keep doing it.

If it’s not good for business they and their customers would lose from government interference.

Agitating for compulsion is just one many examples of where, if the government is the answer, the wrong question was asked.


11 Responses to Don’t need govt to be CoOl

  1. Captain Fantastic says:

    I have taken the Australian attitude to NZ produce as an attack on myself personally. Despite the fact that very little, if anything that I produce, actually goes there. Apart from my purchases at Countdown.

    I think there is a role for the NZ Government to stand up for NZers’, because no-one else will. The Govt doesn’t mind inferring and sifting thru the minutiae of my life, & screwing cash from me,so about time John Key shows a bit of spine and stands up and advocates for NZ. . He can earn his pay this week.

    I actually stopped buying at New World several years ago when they got silly about plastic bags. I have found Countdown really great. I cannot believe that they would be so stupid as to slap the NZ face so overtly. Perhaps they are prepared to take a hit in the NZ market, and may have factored it in.

    Never the less. John Key should stand up, or else he should go.
    Let someone else fight for us. Someone must be prepared to do it, surely ?

  2. homepaddock says:

    How would you feel if Tony Abbott started telling private businesses here what they can and can’t buy and sell under their home brands?

  3. Andrei says:

    Agitating for compulsion is just one many examples of where, if the government is the answer, the wrong question was asked.

    I don’t know how you are able to keep kidding yourself the National isn’t just another Big Government left wing party.

  4. homepaddock says:

    National swallowed dead rats before the 2008 election and has kept its word over them but that doesn’t make it left-wing.

    It took the sharp edges off the effects of the GFC but in spite of that and the Christchurch earthquakes, is on track back to surplus, is reforming welfare and has managed to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of the public service; reformed welfare in a way no left-wing government, beholden to unions, would ever try to.

  5. Andrei says:

    That’s not a dead rat Ele, it is a putrid elephant carcass.

    One of the largest employers in Petone, with significant exports to Australia is Imperial tobacco, a company that pays tax,whose employees pay tax and who are generating significant Government income through (outrageous) excise duties and yet your Government is to put it bluntly shitting all over them.

    This bill should be an absolute anathema to the National Party, on the grounds that it is interfering in legitimate business, ion the grounds that is is patronizing adult New Zealand citizens and treating them as children.

    When I voted for National back in 2008 I did so because I wanted Government out of peoples lives and out of private businesses but it has been business as usual since National took the treasury benches and intrusive Government policies have kept on coming as thick and fast as ever before.

    It is almost tempting to give NZ First a tick in the hope that whatever party actually takes the treasury benches the coalition that forms will be so unstable that the new Government will be paralyzed and unable to enact these political brainfarts but just be able to manage the absolutely necessary day to day business

  6. Captain Fantastic says:

    I think that there needs someone to remind Australians that there is a bigger picture. Free trade gives lower prices, better choices and benefits all. If this obstructive tactic is allowed to continue it will be to the detriment of Australian industry. Every country has its comparative advantage and free trade, like sport can only be positive.

    John Key, as a person of stature, could sound a call for common sense before positions harden even further and cause needless harm on both sides of the Tasman. Australians probably haven’t seriously considered how their decision is felt and interpreted on this side of the Tasman.

  7. Andrei says:

    Captain Fantastic free trade means people are free to choose,

    If Australian supermarket chains, which are private businesses choose to only use Australian produce that is their business. Australian consumers are free to give their custom to those chains, buy their brands or shop elsewhere.

    The only influence that we in New Zealand can exert is to produce better products more cheaply so that they will be more attractive to the Australian consumer than their locally produced equivalents.

  8. Captain Fantastic says:

    Australians who visit Countdown may not not be offered the choice of NZ produce because of the supermarket policy. Am I reading that correctly? I think that NZers should be widely informed about that policy so that they may choose to ignore Australian goods. Kiwi goods may be cheaper in other establishments in Australia, but I think it unlikely that Aussies are going to traipse over town just to buy NZ made stuff, just to save cents.

    I’d prefer if at least NZ produce, was at least offered in Countdown given that Countdown also operates in NZ’s market.. Aussie consumers may not notice that their options in the market have been reduced. No one is forcing them to buy anything. I just want them to have the choice.

  9. homepaddock says:

    The supermarkets are using only Australian goods in their home brands. NZ produce and products wills till be available in the supermarkets.

  10. Andrei says:

    National swallowed dead rats before the 2008 election and has kept its word over them

    I’m not going to let you away on this – you want to hide behind coalition politics over very bad policies being implemented, but this raises the question as to how much National is willing to sell out New Zealand and ordinary New Zealanders in order to gain the treasury benches.

    And you can ra ra about the economy until the cows come home but there is a damn sight more the the national well being than just “the economy”.

    This country needs people of principle and substance in Parliament and alas that is a quality sadly lacking in our parliamentarians

  11. homepaddock says:

    The dead rats were swallowed before the election, not implemented after it.

    That’s the reality of politics. You can stay in opposition where you achieve nothing or get into government and make a positive difference, including making the rats a little more digestible.

    An example of this is incentives to help people pay off student loans more quickly, much more effort to recover loans from defaulters overseas and bonds under which loans are written off if health and vet gradautes work in harder to staff areas.

    The economy isn’t an end, it’s a means. It matters because unless it’s growing we can’t afford better health, education, infrastructure and all the other things which determine national wellbeing.

    But policies with economic gains also have social ones, eg welfare reforms – getting people from welfare to work reduces the immediate and long-term cost of benefits but it also results in better outcomes in health, education and general life for former beneficiaries and their families.

    There are people of principle and substance in parliament, and not only in National. But you don’t usually see this in the media which prefers pettiness.

    An example: All I saw about Jo Hayes’ maiden speech was a sentence saying she’d made it, while the headlines covered a spat over clothes.

    The speech is here, I think you’ll find common ground in her belief in the importance of family:

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