Other News

First EV fast charger opens at a South Island supermarket

The first electric vehicle (EV) fast charger to be installed at any South Island supermarket opened today at New World Northwood in Christchurch. The charging station has been installed in a partnership between Orion, Foodstuffs South Island and ChargeNet NZ.

In other countries, like the US, EV charging at supermarkets and shopping malls is commonplace. This first charger at a South Island supermarket is being used by Foodstuffs as a trial before considering the rollout of charging stations at other New World, PAK’nSAVE and Four Square locations in the South Island.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve our customers’ overall shopping experience, and save them time too, and letting EV drivers come to New World Northwood to charge up their vehicle while they’re shopping achieves both,” says Steve Anderson, CEO of Foodstuffs South Island. “We’re increasingly focussed on sustainability, and the introduction of EV chargers at our stores, like this one, is just one more way we’re helping the environment.”

Rob Jamieson, Orion CEO, says: “We’re delighted to be able to work with Foodstuffs South Island and ChargeNet NZ on the installation of this EV fast charger.”

“As EVs become more mainstream in coming years, having chargers located at supermarkets will be part of everyday life. The New World Northwood site is strategically placed for tourists coming into the city so it makes sense to install the first EV fast charger in this location,” says Mr Jamieson.

The fast charger installed at Northwood is part of ChargeNet NZ’s nationwide network of EV charging stations. ChargeNet NZ have opened a number of fast charge stations in partnership with various electricity suppliers, site owners and BMW. A fast charger typically charges an EV in around 20 to 30 minutes. EV owners need to open an account at charge.net.nz to be able to use the charger.

ChargeNet NZ Chief Executive, Steve West, said: “The Northwood charging station is another important link in our nationwide network. This makes EVs a great option for even more people, and adds much needed resilience to the Canterbury infrastructure. The collaborative approach taken at Northwood has worked well, and I hope to see many more Foodstuffs locations in the future.”

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Christmas spending building steadily

The earthquake of Monday 14 November caused a drop in spending on the day in most New Zealand regions. Underlying spending through the Paymark network was 3.0% or $4.2 million below the level of the previous Monday. A similar estimate of the national effect is derived from the modest 0.7% annual underlying growth rate recorded across the country on the day, this growth rate being 2.8% below the 3.5% average growth rate over the previous week.
The annual growth rate was slightly higher the next day, Tuesday (1.4%), and had resumed a more normal pattern from Wednesday.
Compared to the same days in 2015, any spending decline over the Monday and Tuesday was highest in the combined Marlborough/Kaikoura region (-14.0%) and in the Wellington region (-12.1%), with the dollar effect being higher in Wellington.

Underlying spending through Paymark ($million)  
Region 14-15th Nov 2016 Same Mon/Tue 2015 Change ($) Change (%)
Marlborough/Kaikoura $3.0 $3.5 -$0.5 -14.0%
Wellington $23.8 $27.0 -$3.3 -12.1%
Rest of NZ $265.1 $258.3 +$6.8 +2.6%
Total NZ $291.9 $288.8 +$3.1 +1.1%

Figure 1: Underlying spending through Paymark after Monday 14th earthquake
By Wednesday, growth had resumed in Wellington, although not within the Accommodation sector until the following Tuesday (22nd). Spending was still below year-ago levels in Marlborough/Kaikoura by the end of month.
Otherwise the interest in retail markets was the start of the busy pre-Christmas period. Spending did jump noticeably, as per usual, on Thursday-Saturday 17-20th November and again one week later. Underlying spending was highest for the month on Friday 25 November but the growth rate on the day was in keeping with other days that week, indicating a steady rise in Christmas spending in New Zealand rather than the frenzied Thanksgiving long weekend in the US. 
Over the last full week of November, the underlying annual spending growth was solid if unspectacular at 5.1%. Accommodation and liquor retail merchants recorded the fastest annual growth during the week.
Combined, the earthquake and start to Christmas spending added up to underlying growth between October andNovember of 0.2% when seasonally adjusted. The annual underlying growth rate for the month remains high at 6.9%.

Figure 2: Underlying spending through Paymark by month
Over the month, the Accommodation sector recorded 17.4% more spending through Paymark, suggestive of another strong tourism season. Also strong was Electrical and electronics spending (+11.0%).
Both sectors were very strong in Hawke’s Bay (up 26.5% and 20.4% respectively) during the month, contributing to this region recording the fastest annual underlying growth rate (up 11.8%).
At the other extreme, the earthquake meant lowest annual growth was reported at Marlborough (+1.3%), which includes Kaikoura in Paymark statistics.
Canterbury also experienced weak spending growth during the second half of the month but this had been the case before the quakes, suggesting the cause of this weakness lies elsewhere. 

PAYMARK All Cards Data (Nov 2016 versus same month 2015)
  Volume Underlying* Value Underlying*
Region transactions millions Annual % change transactions $millions Annual % change
Auckland/Northland                                        42.11 8.9% $2,116.5 7.8%
Waikato                                                     7.60 8.2% $350.0 6.8%
BOP                                                         6.82 11.4% $328.2 9.8%
Gisborne                                                    0.97 11.8% $40.9 8.2%
Taranaki                                          2.19 6.3% $97.9 4.5%
Hawke’s Bay                                                  3.12 15.0% $139.4 11.8%
Wanganui                                                    1.09 10.0% $44.6 7.9%
Palmerston North                                            3.23 9.0% $156.6 7.1%
Wairarapa                                                   0.98 10.9% $43.5 9.0%
Wellington                                                  10.68 7.2% $462.2 4.9%
Nelson                                                      1.95 7.6% $95.4 2.5%
Marlborough                                                 1.06 3.8% $53.6 1.3%
West Coast                                                  0.60 6.2% $31.5 5.0%
Canterbury                                                  11.45 6.5% $553.9 3.4%
South Canterbury                                            1.53 7.2% $77.0 5.5%
Otago                                                       5.51 10.8% $276.2 9.6%
Southland                                                   2.15 8.3% $111.2 8.5%
New Zealand 103.86 8.6% $5,032.6 6.9%
* Underlying spending excludes large clients moving to or from Paymark within last 12 months

Figure 3: Paymark All Cards data (November 2016 versus November 2015)