MEDIA RELEASE 30 November 2022
Fog Cannon Subsidy Must Include Fuel Stations
Fuel stations must be eligible for the Government’s fog cannon subsidy, the Motor Trade Association (MTA) says.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced this week that the Government will provide $4000 for all small shops and dairies in New Zealand who want a fog cannon installed, with shops to pay the balance.
“We fully support dairies and small retailers getting protection,” says MTA spokesperson Simon Bradwell.
“The horrific recent events underline just how important that is.
“Fog cannons can be a useful tool to prevent crime, so we urge the Government to ensure that fuel stations, which also provide an essential service to the community and are at risk of crime, are included.
“In many cases, service stations sell a similar range of products as dairies and convenience stores. In most people’s eyes, if you can buy milk, a bag of chippies and a Coke, they’re shops.
“What the Government needs to do is confirm that they meet the definition of shops for the subsidy.”
MTA notes that in making the announcement, the Prime Minister said: “If you feel vulnerable, we want you to be able to access support.”
Police statistics show that in the first six months of the year alone, there were 22 ram raids on petrol stations (https://www.police.govt.nz/about-us/publication/retail-crime-and-ram-raids)
Simon Bradwell says: “Fuel stations are often open late and can indeed be vulnerable to attack. Smaller, more remote, and independent stations, in particular, need to be able to access the subsidy.
“Some stations have been the victims of the dangerous ram-raid wave this year.
“Their business, stock – and most importantly, their people - are at risk, and need protection.”
It’s not clear from the wording of the announcement whether fuel stations are included in the subsidy criteria. MTA asked Police Minister Chris Hipkins’ office for clarity, and were told only that more details would be made available as soon as possible.
Around a third of MTA fuel sector members are independent operators.
“So, in many cases the victim of the crime isn’t a huge multi-national – it’s hard-working Kiwis.”