New jobs ga­lore at Count­down

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

‘‘It feels just like yes­ter­day that I came in here when it was a shell, with wiring ev­ery­where.’’

Mark Ber­ney was like a kid be­fore Christ­mas last Tues­day.

The store man­ager of Count­down’s new­est store, on Whitford Brown Ave in Aotea, Porirua, was a busy man as the fin­ish­ing touches were be­ing made on the $20 mil­lion su­per­mar­ket.

Reps from var­i­ous com­pa­nies were fill­ing their des­ig­nated spots, Count­down em­ploy­ees were stock­ing shelves - even window wash­ers were out in force, get­ting the glass spot­less for the big open­ing.

Porirua mayor Mike Tana of­fi­cially cut the rib­bon on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

Tana said the new su­per­mar­ket would be a wel­come ad­di­tion to Aotea and sur­round­ing area.

‘‘It means more jobs and more shop­ping choices, which is great to see.’’

There are 57 new staff mem­bers to the Count­down fam­ily, Ber­ney said.

‘‘We had a stall at JobFest [last Au­gust in Porirua] and a lot of lo­cal in­ter­est, which is bril­liant. We haven’t had to can­ni­balise from other stores.’’

The an­tic­i­pa­tion of open­ing was pal­pa­ble for Ber­ney, who was pre­vi­ously as­sis­tant store man­ager at Tawa Count­down, and worked in su­per­mar­kets in Lower Hutt.

‘‘It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing and an hon­our to get to run one of the new stores.

‘‘A lot of hard work has gone in to this point and we’re just get­ting the fresh [pro­duce] to­gether, along with the deli and bak­ery or­gan­ised last minute.

‘‘It feels just like yes­ter­day that I came in here when it was a shell, with wiring ev­ery­where, to this.’’

There was the hope to open be­fore Christ­mas, but sched­ules were never per­fect, Ber­ney said.

Ground was bro­ken on the 3100 square me­tre site in late 2015, fol­low­ing a smooth re­source con­sent process with Porirua City Coun­cil and com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion that gave plenty of feed­back.

Ber­ney said con­cerns about traf­fic would not likely be borne out, as cus­tomers and mo­torists get used to the new road lay­out.

Wider aisles, a large pro­duce depart­ment and full pro­duc­tion bak­ery would be a boon for cus­tomers, he said.

Rangikura School per­formed a haka at the open­ing and $500 worth of gro­ceries were do­nated to the Porirua Sal­va­tion Army’s food­bank.

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