News and media releases

Countdown has today welcomed the Government’s announcement that single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out in New Zealand over the next year.

Countdown is proud to support the Sustainable Business Network’s Circular Economy Accelerator (CEA) in its work to complete a diagnostic study of New Zealand’s entire plastic packaging system.  The study aims to identify key challenges and interventions for the adoption of a circular economy approach to plastics.

Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Kiri Hannifin, says Countdown is focused on removing and reducing unnecessary packaging and plastic across its business and is committed to being part of the solution to New Zealand’s current plastic packaging problem.  

Countdown’s Onecard loyalty programme is celebrating its two millionth registration, just two years after joining with AA Smartfuel to help save Kiwis thousands on fuel and food.

Countdown also recently moved its rewards vouchers online, reducing the need for millions of envelopes and paper vouchers that were sent out each year.  Customers can now redeem their rewards at the checkout, and for the first time rewards can be redeemed at self-checkout and via online shopping as well.

Countdown’s annual Kids Hospital Appeal kicks off today for its 12th year, and aims to raise $1.3 million for children’s hospitals and wards throughout New Zealand. 

100% of funds raised* are donated to the hospitals for their “wish lists”, which this year include Gisborne Hospital’s first ever playground, building a parent room at the Special Care Baby Unit at WaitakereHospital in Auckland, supporting research in the Waikato by providing electronic diabetes monitors, and buying vital signs monitors and other essential equipment for Christchurch Hospital.

Countdown will phase out single-use plastic carrier bags at a further 42 stores from 13 August, resulting in more than two million less bags entering New Zealand’s waste stream each week.

This move means that nearly a third of all Countdown supermarkets across the country will have made the change to reusable bags, including all stores in Dunedin, Invercargill, Nelson and Blenheim.


Countdown has dropped the price of its Homebrand and Select sanitary products to make them more affordable for women and girls in New Zealand.

Speaking at a Parliamentary event on the issue today, Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Kiri Hannifin, said that while all women will benefit from lower prices on these essential items, one of the drivers for the business in making sanitary products more affordable was to help address a real need for many women and girls in New Zealand.

Countdown is recalling ​its own brand ​Essentials Domestic Cleaner - Fresh 1.25L and Essentials Domestic Cleaner - Regular 1.25L with use by dates up to and including June 2019. The products have been sold in Countdown​, FreshChoice and SuperValue​ stores nationwide.

Countdown has today joined a group of leading New Zealand businesses who have joined forces to tackle climate change.

Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Kiri Hannifin, says Countdown is proud to be part of such a concerted commitment by the New Zealand business community to do more on this issue.  The businesses, from a range of industries, make up nearly 50 per cent of New Zealand’s emissions.

Countdown has today announced that its in-store baked bread and rolls will now be made from more than 10,000 tonnes of milled and Canterbury-grown New Zealand wheat each year, giving the local wheat industry a much needed boost.

Nikhil Sawant, Countdown’s Head of Perishable, Deli and Bakery, says the multi-year commitment means growers can have the confidence they need to invest in their businesses after a tough few years of low wheat prices.

 From today, Countdown bakers will be baking up a storm to help more than 60,000 New Zealanders who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

For every pack of lamingtons sold at Countdown until 22 July, 20 cents will be donated to Alzheimers New Zealand. Last year’s lamington appeal raised more than $15,000 to support the charity.