Mad Butcher forced to close

Mad Butcher on Ferry Rd, Waltham, will be closed during the Covid-19 lockdown, in spite of the...
Mad Butcher on Ferry Rd, Waltham, will be closed during the Covid-19 lockdown, in spite of the store being used by the community as a supermarket. Photo: Supplied
The owners of a Christchurch Mad Butcher are devastated they have been forced to close their store after being told it was an essential service.

Mad Butcher on Ferry Rd, Waltham, was set to remain open during the Covid-19 lockdown from 9am to 5pm - seven days a week.

Different to most other butchers, the store fits the criteria of a supermarket as it sells not only meat but groceries like fresh produce, bakery and dairy products, and an assortment of non-food goods.

But when owners Nicole and Shane Vickery opened their doors on Tuesday, police arrived and told them to close after being instructed to do so by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

"We really feel like we have let our customers and our loyal, hardworking team down," Mr Vickery said.

They had confirmed the status of the store as a supermarket after consultation with MBIE and MP Duncan Webb.

It came after the Government updated its list of essential and non-essential businesses on March 26, which stated butchers would have to close but supermarkets and dairies could stay open.

"Please believe us when we say we have tried everything to be allowed to service your needs through this difficult time," a post on the Mad Butcher Ferry Rd Facebook page read.  

"We understand that you have large families that can be expensive to feed.

"Some of you have limited mobility and are stuck in a bit of a no man's land between supermarkets."

Duncan Webb. Photo: Supplied
Duncan Webb. Photo: Supplied
Mr Webb is now looking into the situation and plans to contact MBIE.

He said it is important to give people in the community another option. as many of them walk and the closest supermarkets are several kilometres away.

"In this case, there's an argument that this is a grocery store even though it's got the title 'butcher' on it because it's expanded its services over the years," Mr Webb said. 

"It sells pretty much everything you need."

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