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Heritage group loses fight against new supermarket

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an attempt by a Coromandel heritage group to stop a new supermarket.

The Coro MainStreet had appealed against the Thames Coromandel District Council’s approval of Foodstuffs (North Island) replacing its Four Square store.

Angela Bull, general manager property development at Foodstuffs says the decision confirms the council had acted appropriately and with the right information when it granted a non-notified resource consent.

Since the initial approval in 2012, local opponents of the development have gone through through the council, High Court and Court of Appeal. 

“It has been a long wait for us and the community and we hope that this is now the end of the court processes and the start of us being able to bring a bigger, better food and grocery offer to the Coromandel community,” Ms Bull says.

Foodstuffs and the council will now seek costs against Coro MainStreet while work on the site will start in the new year.

Comments and questions

Centralising profit to a largely out of town operator cant be good for the community.

Its time Councils, & Courts for that matter, worked out what is good for the community; i.e a cluster of small businesses owned by locals, and investing local.

Isnt the Resource Management Act all about sustainability, which should also include an economic focus on the wider community.

Alot of these small businesses wont exist after this larger supermarket comes to town. Minimum wage workers are hardly a replacement for small business owners..

Foodstuffs purchasing power will kill competition, and once thats gone they will charge what they like. No benefit to anyone but Foodstuffs.

A poor decision.

The RMA might have been intended to be all about sustainability, but now it is just another legal system where lawyers planners etc take money off both sides until the side with the most money wins.


Under Foodstuffs' business model, the supermarket will be owned and operated by a local resident. The profits will go to that local resident, Foodstuffs is a co-operative. And of course all of the staff wages will stay in town also.

But at least the profits will remain in NZ as Foodstuffs is a NZ company.

You just don't get it. The upgraded store will be leased to, and operated by, a local. So, the profits will stay in the community. Your view of what is best for the community is backward looking and ignores progress. The RMA is not about protecting local businesses against progress.

How is centralising profit to one business progress for the wider community?

Do you really think that business owner will reinvest all his profits locally?

This would be the exception rather than the rule. Most foodstuff operators will use small store profits to purchase a bigger store, away from the community they extracted the profits from.

If a net loss of money to the local community is progress in your eyes you must have rocks in your head. And sadly, people like you seem to dominate current short term thinking.

Incorrect. The RMA is quite clear in that it is not about (preventing) trade competition - at least not since the Wairau Rd Pak n Save debacle. Thankfully.

You seem to have missed the point - All Foodstuffs stores (including Coromandel) are owned and operated by the local owner. All profits are generated in the store and remain in the local area.

Those objectors will be the first queuing outside the doors, come the openning - day Specials.

Putting out of business those who add real value to the local community.

Sadly the main perpetrator of this legal battle against council and Food Stuffs, the Chairman of "Mainstreet Coromandel", will likely be able to walk away from the significant damage he once more caused under the guise of a "Heritage Protection Society". He will now likely fold this latest society too, in order to avoid the liability. He has a history of suing developers with the help of public funding over heritage matters in Coromandel town, losing his court cases and then walking away without paying the cost awarded against him by folding the "societies" he erected to pursue his litigation, only to erect a new society under a new name shortly thereafter.

It would be time the courts see though this pathological behavior and pursue him personally for the legal damages his quest has caused for the town and those who are prepared to invest here.

As other correspondents pointed out above, the local 4 square is a locally owned franchise and the local supermarket is one of the biggest employers in town, especially also employing and training young people who, unlike Mr. Foreman, can't live of old family wealth but need income from work to survive here!