Flaxmere’s only supermarket is set to close at the end of next month after Foodstuffs decided not to renew its lease.
A Foodstuffs spokesperson said that the building housing the New World was no longer up to standard for both its team and customers – “even with considerable investment in a refurbishment by the landlord”.
New World Flaxmere will close on February 25 and consultation with employees has begun.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the community is “devastated” about the “incredibly disappointing news” of the supermarket’s closure.
“Foodstuffs has assured me that they are providing opportunities for the supermarket’s staff at other sites, which will be helpful for those who are able to travel to work outside of Flaxmere.”
Hazlehurst said that a lot of the community don’t have the access to drive into the city to get their supermarket provisions.
“It’s just sad that we’ve got no facility for people to buy their food and drinks there in the short term.”
Flaxmere is a fast-growing suburb, with a population of over 11,000 residents and 300 houses set to be built in the next three to five years.
“While Council is not able to construct or run a supermarket, we have zoned land in the new development for such retail, and that remains the case. Our team continues to actively work on attracting another supermarket operator to Flaxmere.”
A petition launched on the website change.org calling to prevent the closure has been signed by over 1000 people.
Petition organiser Tamati Birch said that as a single parent, he was concerned that the closure could impact vulnerable sectors of the population.
“I initiated the petition because I believe it is crucial to advocate for the needs of marginalised communities. I encourage everyone to participate and contribute their support. The more signatures we gather, the stronger the message we send about the importance of addressing the needs of vulnerable populations.”
When asked about the petition, Hazlehurst said that it was important that the community has their say, and that it showed how important the supermarket was.