People urged to shop normally, safely and with kindness

Pet food was among the items targeted at supermarkets. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Pet food was among the items targeted at supermarkets. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Toilet paper has been wiped out at some Dunedin supermarkets, despite retailers encouraging consumers to avoid panic-buying after new Covid-19 restrictions came into force.

When the Otago Daily Times visited New World Centre City yesterday morning, toilet paper was gone, along with many tinned vegetable products.

Stocks of rice and tissues were short, and a number of other items were restricted, including cat food.

Pak’nSave South Dunedin had sold out of paracetamol and had implemented item limits on cold and flu products.

John Moyle, of Fresh Choice Green Island, said his store had experienced a roughly 30% increase in demand on Sunday, after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced New Zealand was to move to the Red setting on the Covid-19 traffic light system.

Stocks are down ... Signs on shelves at Pak’nSave in South Dunedin yesterday.PHOTOS: CHRISTINE O...
Stocks are down ... Signs on shelves at Pak’nSave in South Dunedin yesterday.PHOTOS: CHRISTINE O’CONNOR

Mr Moyle said supermarkets were well prepared and customers should shop normally so temporary shortages could be avoided.

Toilet paper and bread were especially affected by the surge, Mr Moyle said, but the shift to the Red light setting had resulted in fewer consumers stocking up than had occurred during last year’s lockdowns.

Retail New Zealand chief executive Greg Harford agreed there was no reason for shoppers to panic buy.

Supply chains had been shown to be operate ‘‘reasonably well’’ even when placed under pressure by Covid-19 related disruption, and the traffic light system would mean less disruption to business-as-usual compared to a lockdown.

There might be some disruption as staff got sick, but there was ‘‘plenty of product’’, he said.

Countdown corporate affairs, safety and sustainability director Kiri Hannifin said the company was working closely with suppliers to ensure disruptions were minimal.

Foodstuffs corporate affairs manager Emma Wooster said there had been a concerted effort to actively prepare for Omicron and there was no need for consumers to stock up, even if preparing to self-isolate.

Consumers should make an effort to shop safely by scanning in, wearing masks, social distancing and nominating one person from each household to shop in store.

Shoppers should treat staff and other customers with kindness, she said.

Pharmacist Paul Larson, of Green Island, said that he was on the verge of selling out of his current stock of KN95 masks, and staff had administered more than 100 vaccinations.

Other pharmacies spoken to by the Otago Daily Times were also extremely busy providing vaccinations, but none had faced any shortages of medications.


No words can describe the idiots who do this time after time.



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter