The owner of a dairy which was going to lose its banking capabilities has won his "David and Goliath" battle.

In December last year Kiwibank announced it would close the Rotorua Westend branch by Christmas.

At the time Kiwibank said a comprehensive security audit had been undertaken on branches nationwide. That resulted in the decision to withdraw banking from two stores in Auckland and the Westend branch.

The closure was initially proposed following a security assessment. Photo/Stephen Parker
The closure was initially proposed following a security assessment. Photo/Stephen Parker

Westend Dairy owner Jaymesh Kumar and his wife appealed the decision which would have seen the dairy remain open, but lose its banking capabilities.


They gathered more than 1800 signatures in support of the store remaining open over the course of a week.

Kiwibank communication manager Bruce Thompson said while the petition reflected strong community support for the branch, it didn't affect the decision.

"Ultimately it was the resolution of core issues of safety and security that enabled the removal of services notice to be withdrawn," Thompson said.

"The bank and the franchise owner engaged in comprehensive discussions and issues were addressed."

He said the bank was satisfied issues identified by the security audit had been addressed but wouldn't release the details, which are considered commercially sensitive.

Kumar said the reversal of the decision meant jobs for three staff had been saved.

"That's the best thing. We've retained the jobs and the customers are happy," Kumar said.

"It's a victory for us. We're a small business and they are a giant corporation. It's like a David and Goliath battle. To win is a moral victory."


Kumar wanted to let the public know it was business as usual and thank those who had signed the petition instore.

"At the end of the day it was about our staff and customers - not money. That was the main thing. It was never about profit," he said.

This is great news so we want to tell the community we're here."

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- Rotorua Business Banking Centre, 1161 Pukuatua St
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- Rotorua West NZ Post & Kiwibank, 164 Malfroy Rd