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“It is more important that ever that prices are fair,” Ardern addresses supermarket price gouging claims

“It is more important that ever that prices are fair,” Ardern addresses supermarket price gouging claims

With claims of price gouging circulating social media, the Prime Minister has addressed the concerns in her press conference today. 

“It is more important that ever that prices are fair,” Ardern addresses supermarket price gouging claims

“While we have no evidence, we are setting up a channel where people can report any cases or concerns they may have,” said the Prime Minister.

Seasonal fresh produce price fluctuations may be the cause of the changes, but Ardern says they are keeping a close eye on supermarkets.

“During a period when there is less competition in the food retail sector and increased demand,” she said. “It is more important than ever that prices are fair and reasonable. As such we have created a reporting mechanism for the public.”

[email protected] is a dedicated email for reporting of potential price gouging.  “No one wants to see anyone take unfair advantage of this extraordinary period,” says Ardern. “To be clear, it is not illegal for businesses to increase their prices but the fair trading act prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct and false representation.”

“If a business gives a reason for a price increase it must be true, otherwise it risks breaching the fair trading act and this will be enforced,” says Ardern.

Ardern also addressed the plans or Easter trading. She says there will be a final decision tomorrow. One issue is the need to restock shelves which is being factored into the decision. She reiterates that dairies are already able to be open during this entire period.

Ardern also thanked the thousands of health workers who have come out of retirement to support during the pandemic. “6,126 health professionals have come out of retirement – doctors, nurses, support workers. “At a time when New Zealand needs its medical workforce to be at its most prepared, I say thank you for bringing your expertise back to the frontline.”

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