Countdown wants to extend their opening hours?! SCANDALOUS!!

The latest bout of hysterical outraged screeching has begun.
The Boycott Brigade is once again – to coin an Aussie term – acting a bit of a Galah. Or in this case, a flock of Galahs. A very big, very noisy flock.

If you haven’t heard about the latest ‘crime’ Progressive has committed – they are attempting to extend opening hours across all stores in New Zealand. They would like to have 7am-11pm operating hours across the board.
This means they need to apply to extend their licensing hours if they wish to include sales of alcohol during these increased hours of general operation.
Now, the way the following articles are worded one would almost believe that the supermarket chain is trying to fashion themselves into a bottle store – open for a few extra hours each day PURELY to sell more alcohol.
A supermarket wanting to extend their hours so people can have more flexibility when wanting to purchase general grocery items?! PAH. What a strange notion..!!!

What a strange notion, indeed.

In most larger towns and cities where a Countdown supermarket is located they already have these hours of 7am-11pm. However, most smaller towns have shorter operating hours. The most common reason for these shortened hours of operation appear to be due to that particular area’s local alcohol policy regulations which include the hours within which a licensed premises may operate.

Two news websites have reported on this issue – albeit in an unashamedly biased fashion which seems to be nothing more than an attempt to ride on the coat-tails of an already controversial issue in order to get hits.

The author of this piece must be a fan of Shane Jones with their headline that screams, “Countdown Heavies Your Town!!” More gangster references? How tacky and lowbrow. Source

The next article isn’t much better. It names the previously unnamed Waikato Mayor (who in the first article  used the phrase “arrogant and aggressive” to describe Progressive’s alleged response to the Council’s rejection of their application to extend licensing hours) as John Tregidga of Hauraki. Source
There is one very interesting point in this article which highlights the extent of bias being built against Countdown supermarkets and the shameful enthusiasm local media is showing for joining the witch hunt.
Not one, but TWO major liquor chains have also appealed the Hauraki licensing restrictions. But because “..they haven’t demanded trading hours be extended until 11pm..’ nobody bats an eyelid – even though they also have the means to fight the local policy by lodging an appeal with the Alcohol Licensing and Regulatory Authority.

Am I the only one who sees something seriously wrong with this picture?

Alcohol-related harm cannot be blamed solely on supermarkets where cheap wine, beer and cider can be purchased. Consideration (and responsibility) must also be directed towards the multitude of liquor stores operating within New Zealand which sell cheap spirits and RTDs – long thought to be a major contributor to alcohol-related harm in society.
So why is no one kicking up a stink about these liquor outlets wanting to extend their own hours? Why is no one sharpening the pitchforks for an assault on Liquorland and Super Liquor?
Oh that’s right – they’re not owned by Australian companies. So ‘she’ll be right mate’.

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