After 53 years on the one site, New Zealand's biggest supermarket chain is moving its Auckland head office and primary distribution centre from Mt Roskill to Mangere, resulting the proposed closure of a Rotorua base where 51 people work.

Foodstuffs North Island chief executive Chris Quin announced the shift to more than 1000 staff today, saying purpose-built premises would be developed at The Landing, Auckland Airport's business park.

The new headquarters will be at The Landing Business Park.
The new headquarters will be at The Landing Business Park.

The move will mean shutting Foodstuffs Rotorua's distribution centre on Fairy Springs Rd in Mangakakahi. Foodstuffs said: "We will work through the proposal with our team of 51 based in Rotorua, ensuring that they are consulted, informed and supported throughout the process."

Quin said Foodstuffs planned to move to the new support office and primary distribution centre in 2020 for a wide range of benefits to the business, he said.

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Foodstuffs brands include Pak'nSave, New World, Four Square, Liquorland, Gilmours, and the new Fresh Collective.

Quin said Foodstuffs was at Mt Roskill for more than half a century, so it was time for a change. The new 65,000sq m Green Star premises would be developed by Auckland Airport.

Airport property general manager Mark Thomson outlined a three-year construction phase at stage four of The Landing Business Park. A contractor is yet to be appointed.

The site is bare greenfields west of George Bolt Memorial Dr.

Thomson said that in the past year, the airport had completed developments for the Ministry of Primary Industries, Fonterra Brands, Rohlig Logistics, Agility Logistics, Yusen Logistics and Eden Office.

Quin said Foodstuffs owned 15ha at Mt Roskill and the site would be sold.

Property records indicate the site is worth well over $50m.

The airport's Adrian Littlewood with Foodstuffs' Chris Quin. Photo/Michael Craig
The airport's Adrian Littlewood with Foodstuffs' Chris Quin. Photo/Michael Craig

Property at 38-52 Roma Rd is owned by The National Trading Company, 58 and 59 Roma Rd is owned by Foodstuffs (Auckland), 60 Roma Rd by The National Trading Company and 95-97 May Rd (Foodstuffs Auckland).

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Auckland Council listed 60 Roma Rd alone as valued last July at $48 million and Quin said the business owned many surrounding properties.

The Mt Roskill site will be sold. Quin said the business was not in discussions with anyone about the next steps but would work with a number of parties to determine the best use of the land "in the interests of Auckland with an eye on its development".

The co-operative would use its new airport base to distribute goods to about 100 of the approximately 150 North Island supermarkets and stores, Quin said.

Littlewood with Quin at the airport site. Photo/Michael Craig
Littlewood with Quin at the airport site. Photo/Michael Craig

"The appeal of this location is in its accessibility. It is handy to the airport and the motorway, which is great from a logistics perspective," Quin said.

WHERE FOODSTUFFS IS GOING


"The area around the airport is rapidly becoming a hub for fast-moving companies like ours, with large-scale logistics operations," Quin said.

"These are services are used by us and our suppliers so it makes sense that we are closer to the action. In addition, we considered a location more easily accessible to the vast majority of our team which would allow us to improve the ability to work more collaboratively and efficiently," Quin said.

FOODSTUFFS AT MT ROSKILL

Quin said the move would consolidate three Foodstuffs facilities in the upper North Island into one location. The co-operative would continue to operate its distribution and support centre in Palmerston North and a support centre in Wellington.

But as part of the change, the Rotorua distribution centre would close when the new airport premises opens, Quin said.

"Our valued Rotorua based team affected by the consolidation will be fully supported throughout the three-year process and will be offered opportunities elsewhere in the business, further training or redundancy," Quin said.

The new headquarters would change the way the business worked, he said.

Thomson refused to reveal how much the new building would cost, saying the business never revealed those numbers on any development.

One market analyst predicted Foodstuffs could be paying around $150/sq m annually for its new warehouse space and about $450/sq m annually for office space.