Media Releases

Positive step for retail crime – but more still needs to be done

28 November 2022

Retail NZ says that the Government has taken a positive step today to address retail crime but there is a lot more that needs to happen.

“While it is good news that the Government is focusing on retail crime, we fundamentally need to see a change across society in attitudes towards crime and violence,” Retail NZ Chief Executive Greg Harford said today. “Everyone in the community needs to have a shared understanding that it’s not ok to steal, threaten, assault or kill. This needs an extensive social change programme to get the message through.

Additionally, It’s critical that retail workers are trained in how to manage armed robberies. Many businesses are investing heavily in providing this sort of support for their team members, but this can be challenging for SMEs. Retail NZ has a suite of resources available to support the sector, and anyone wanting to access them should visit

Retail NZ has made it clear to the Government and officials there are a number of initiative required to support the sector, including:

  1. Training for retail workers to deescalate instances of violence, aggression and robbery 
  2. Specific penalties in the Crimes Act calling out abuse and violence against retail workers 
  3. Mental health and wellbeing support for retail workers impacted by retail crime
  4. Increase the number of police on the beat through retail communities across the country 
  5. Social change programme to change attitudes towards retail crime and understand property rights.

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