National | Countdown

Calling out Countdown: Tāne’s video goes viral

A tāne’s video calling out supermarket chain Countdown for their treatment of kuia and kaumātua in the Far North has hit over 150,000 views.

On Tuesday, Sye Peita shared a video saying how disappointed he was to see around 12 elderly people outside Tikipunga Countdown being forced to queue up in the rain.

"It didn't sit right with me because these old people were out standing in line… It got a bit cold," he said.

"For them [elderly], it's quite an anxious time for them to have to come out of their bubbles and come to do the shopping. You can see it on them."

Peita asked to speak to a manager and says he was mortified with the manager’s explanation.

“His first response to me was, 'Oh, we don't want to get too many people in there because it's Gold Card day'."

Shoppers aged 65 years and older who have the Gold Card receive a five percent discount at selected stores on Tuesdays.

Peita hit back, “Well mate… [they] worked all their lives. They worked hard. They're the true foundation of our country…. you're quick to take the money? Come on, bro. This is about our people, our elderly," he said.

Approached for comment, Countdown says their store teams have since been told to keep an eye out for older Kiwis to ensure they can enter the store more quickly.

"If anyone sees another customer in the line who may need a little extra help, we would ask that they please just politely let our team know," a representative said.

Peita says he has been overwhelmed by the positive feedback he has received as far afield as Aussie and the UK. He called on the rest of Aotearoa to step up as well.

"I'm also asking people out there, if you see something stand up for our kaumātua. Stand up for our kuia, for our old people. Say something...make them feel that someone out there cares for them," he said.