Nanny Phil now wants to tax your supermarket bags

One of the most pressing issues of this campaign appears to be the use of plastic shopping bags in supermarkets.

It must be very serious because Phil Goff, the front-runner, now wants to tax or ban plastic shopping bags.

Auckland should follow the United Kingdom and charge about 10 cents for plastic supermarket bags, says Mayoral candidate and Labour MP Phil Goff.

In May this year, Countdown on Waiheke Island stopped using plastic checkout bags and Goff wants to reduce plastic bag use citywide.

“Last year the United Kingdom introduced an equivalent 10 cents charge on all plastic bags used in supermarkets (with exceptions for some goods such as meat, fish and vegetables). The result was an 85 per cent reduction in plastic bag use. This is replicated in cities around the world which have taken this action. We need to do the same,” he said.  

He said charging for plastic bags cannot be introduced through a council bylaw and as mayor he would work with MPs to promote a change through a Local Bill in Parliament.

Good luck with that. National won’t want to be seen to implementing a nanny-state policy like this.

I am, however, surprised that Phil Goff thinks this is an important issue.

We have plenty of massive holes in the ground that need filling, and incineration of rubbish is still a viable option. I just don’t understand where the clamour for policies like this is.

Maybe it is because Phil Goff doesn’t want to release any contentious policies and continue his very low profile as a candidate.


– NZHerald

  • Carl

    Go Phil, I’ll be rich with that drawer in the kitchen that I’ve got full of them.

    • KatB

      I’ve got a draw full too, but if you’ve stored some for long enough, you’ll find them all disintegrated. So they do break down to some extent. You’ll have to sell yours before they crumble to nothing.

  • Kevin

    Recyclable grocery bags cost something like 25 times the amount of energy to produce than plastic bags. This means to make them worthwhile people have to use them 25 times for every time they use plastic bags. My guess is that few people would actually do that, even if plastic bags weren’t free. Most of the time it’s something like remember the recyclable bags a few times, forget them, use plastic bags, remember the recyclable bags again, forget them, … etc.

    • dumbshit

      Wasn’t there a health issue raised with recycled bags becoming soiled?

    • Miss McGerkinshaw

      If you keep at it eventually it becomes a habit, from my own experience. Also when you have unpacked the groceries take the bags and put them in the boot so that way they are always with you. Yes, initially you will still forget at times but now for me it is just a habit. Still end up with the odd plastic bag when I ‘overshop’ and some how always seem to have enough to use as bin liners!??!?

  • GoingRight

    Don’t know how we fight the MSM supporting such a drongo. Listen up Auckland, we really don’t want another Lenny Mark 2. John Palino is the man!

  • Aucky

    Congestion taxes, motorway tolls, supermarket bag taxes and he’s not even in the job yet! This is precisely why a right wing majority on the Council is vitally important in order to reduce Goof to lameduck status.

  • Goldie

    All of the grocery bags we get are reused as rubbish bags. If we used recyclable bags all the time, we would have to buy rubbish bags. What’s the point?

    • Wheninrome

      Look good in the carpark carrying your roll of plastic kitchen tidy bags in your recyclable supermarket bag, brownie points. It is all in the look forget the realities, typical labour.

  • Vutekno

    So this is the mark of a man who aims to be Mayor of our Super City. If this man really believes that banning plastic bags in Auckland is important then that city is really in dire straits!

  • ex-JAFA

    Sounds a bit like that Wellington Councillor who wanted the Council to pay a living wage but wasn’t prepared to offer his own employees the same.

    Does Goofy already pay extra for shopping bags at the likes of The Warehouse, or does he shop where he isn’t charged? Does his own retail business charge customers for shopping bags despite the competition not doing so? (Of course, he doesn’t have a retail business – he’s a professional trougher who’s long forgotten any business experience he may have picked up in the distant past.)

    Stop trying to tell business owners how to run their businesses, and stop trying to tell consumers what to do with their money!!

    • XCIA

      With promising all the council workers the “living wage”, and PDB continued employment, it seems evident his largess will know no bounds.

  • XCIA

    Perhaps he just wants to pander to the Gween vote in Auckland with the spin off helping the Gween/Labour love fest in Disneyland.

  • RobT

    Pak and slave where we shop in Christchurch charge for plastic bags. Originally the masses bought the recyclable black fabric bags and were using them extensivly.
    But notice these days very few bring the bags in with them and now pay I think 5c for them.Hence the habit and peoples ways don’t change,still as many bags going into the dump.

    • Brian_Smaller

      I sometimes buy twenty of them so I have a good supply of rubbish bags at home.

      • RobT

        Precisely they are cheaper as rubbish bin liners than Glad liners.

  • johnandali

    So why does he think we should pay for our plastic bags when most of us already re-use them? Simple. It’s purely because some irresponsible members of our community throw them out of their boats and cars, and they end up polluting our coast and our streams and rivers. So what’s the alternative? The best alternative is to place signage around the country that tells litterers that they will be fined $1,000 if they litter. Then we have to place signs around the country telling drivers that they will be fined $1,000 if they’re caught using their mobile phones while at the wheel. Let’s kill two birds with one stone. Stop anti-social and dangerous behaviour. And if we do impose fines, we have to ensure that there are people employed to catch the offenders in the act.

  • Geordie

    I am pretty sure the rest of the country wants Auckland to elect Phil, it just reinforces our view of Aucklanders, plus it will help keep Labour out of office…..National will be able to say; that’s what you get when you elect a Labour politician, tax and spend.

  • Nechtan

    A surcharge (tax) on shopping bags Phil?
    Take a drive out Rodney (its the largely rural region north of the bridge and the North Shore, you may have heard of it) its roads are falling to pieces (sure all Rodney’s rates are spent here Penny!!)
    The city’s sewage and waste water is just holding on due to lack of upkeep and council foresight.
    The council actively works against opening up new areas for housing (not that the govt. seems to object)

    But yeah 10c a shopping bag that will fix everything.

  • oldmanNZ

    Not this again.
    Countdown introduced a charge many years ago.. It was dropped.

    Its time wasting policy. As people end up buying bin liners anyway..

    Nz is not India.

  • taxpayer

    Phil want’s to tax and ban something huh, who would have thought.
    It’s always a tough choice when I go in to Pak and Save, should I buy four bags or try and get by with three and spend the extra 10 cents on one winegum.

  • kloyd0306

    Goff and Labour are completely out of touch with problem solving. Instead, they make up new ones!


  • Miss McGerkinshaw

    For years I have taken cloth shopping bags, I was a vegan greenie so…….
    Took a while to get into the habit I admit but now they are always in the boot and so ready for action.
    However I do do the occasional shop without as the plastic ones come in handy for bin liner use of course.

  • LesleyNZ

    The obsession to tax us by those from the left side of politics continues. There won’t be a road tax happening in the near future so what is the next thing to tax? Plastic bags. Is this how Phil intends to pay for his million trees planted per year? Sounds more like a last minute idea. Is this how it is going to be if Phil becomes mayor? Michelle Boag et al have a lot to answer for. I feel sorry for those sensible people who live on Waiheke Island who most likely had no say about Countdown’s plastic bag policy. Countdown should know by now that the customer should be given the choice of using a plastic bag – or not.

  • BigNose

    I get lots less plastic bags at super markets now. So I have to buy some to put the rubbish out. Who won there? Not me, not the environment. Stupid, ignorant politics.