Pierre van Heerden has been appointed New Zealand’s first grocery commissioner.
In its final report into the grocery industry, released last year, the Commerce Commission recommended the creation of an independent regulator to police the supermarket sector after it found it to be earning $1 million a day in excess profit because of competition.
Commerce Minister Duncan Webb announced the appointment of Van Heerden, who was most recently chief executive of Mojo Coffee and previously chair of the Food and Grocery Council of NZ.
He will join the Commerce Commission’s board as part of the role.
“As the global cost of living crisis continues to put pressure on families, his appointment is a significant one to hold the sector to account,” Webb said.
His experience would be essential in his role in addressing the nature of competition in the sector and the improvements the government wants to see over time.
“An important focus of the grocery commissioner will be in levelling the playing field and ensuring increased competition in the grocery industry, and for the benefit of Kiwi consumers.”
He has been appointed for a five-year term, starting on July 13.