Staff at a supermarket in Marton with a quiet hour are delighted to hear a store in Auckland is following suit.

For one hour a week, Countdown Marton is a peaceful haven, which has delighted parents with autistic children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The store introduced the quiet hour in April, motivated by then store manager Kirsten Dinnan and staff member Lara Hogg, who has a severely autistic 13-year-old son named Hunter.

Most people with Autism Spectrum Disorder have a sensory processing issue and the simple act of shopping can cause physical pain.


Read more: Marton Countdown first in NZ to introduce 'quiet shopping hour' for people with autism

"In effect, these guys receive far too much feedback from their environment from all of their senses, so they are hearing and seeing absolutely everything," Lara said.

"When the lights are on and the glare is reflecting off the floor, they're seeing that and it hurts. But they can't express it, so for Hunter, he expresses it through screaming, punching, hitting himself.

"Screaming helps him, because it blocks out the noise."

It is estimated Autism Spectrum Disorder affects one in 66 New Zealanders.

Lisa Brown is the manager at the store now and said the quiet hour was going well and had been popular with everyone.

"Even ordinary everyday customers enjoy the quiet hour because they just enjoy the peaceful time.

Rhys Hogg takes 13-year-old son Hunter shopping during the quiet hour.
Rhys Hogg takes 13-year-old son Hunter shopping during the quiet hour.

"You haven't got such the bright lights, there's no sort of sound over your head - it is really a good quiet hour.


"We've still got some of the families coming through with the autistic children. For us it's still a really positive move."

The store manager said the shop floor was a delightful place to be during the quiet hour.

"For me it's been a great idea - we still go down on to the store floor and see everyone during that quiet hour.

"The team have actually mentioned that they actually have some people coming back from work and going through at that time as well ... finding it quite peaceful."

Brown said her predecessor Dinnan, who had since moved to a Whanganui store, had been discussing how to bring in the quiet hour with a store in Auckland.

She also said staff felt very positively about the idea other stores would follow in their footsteps.

Despite its success, no extension to the quiet hour has been planned.

"Not at this stage but ... you never know," Brown said.