Media Releases

Retail NZ welcomes return to normality, asks Kiwis to Shop Nice

12 September 2022

Retail NZ has welcomed today’s decision by the Government to move New Zealand into a sense of normality by removing the vast majority of COVID-19 rules and to manage the pandemic through a revised approach.

“After over two years of being at the forefront of COVID-19 rules, alert level changes, low foot traffic, and nonsensical mask rules retailers across New Zealand will be pleased with today’s revised approach”, says Retail NZ Chief Executive Greg Harford.

“The retail sector has been calling for the revision of COVID-19 restrictions, and removal of mandatory mask requirements due to significantly low compliance from the public and high levels of instore aggression, violence and anti-social behaviour.”

“The revision today largely brings New Zealand in line with most of the rest of the world. We applaud the removal of requirement for household contacts to isolate. However, we encourage the Government to review the isolation period for COVID-19 cases within the next four weeks. Other countries have a far more dynamic approach of review and continue to revise isolation periods with most between three to five days as best practice.”

“As we move to a greater sense of normality, Retail NZ would like to remind Kiwis that the retail environment is safe and encourages everyone to get back instore and #ShopNice.

“Unfortunately, retailers across Aotearoa continue to experience significantly high levels of in-store violence, aggression and anti-social behaviour. Retail NZ is encouraging New Zealanders to take a moment and breathe instead of involving retailer workers in an undue aggressive or tense situation. Kiwis will continue to see Shop Nice posters throughout retail stores, social media content and advertising, as a reminder of the impact undue actions can have on workers”

Retail NZ suggests that Kiwis can take a few key steps to make retail workers feel supported:

  1. Treat retail workers with respect
  2. Use polite and non-threatening language at all times
  3. Saying hello, kia ora, good morning 
  4. Smile and follow shop rules
  5. Say thank you to your local retailer

More information on #ShopNice can be found here.

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