Food retailer Foodland Associated Ltd and its Progressive Enterprises unit are preparing “urgent representations” for the New Zealand cabinet and members of the NZ opposition parties, in reference to the government announcement yesterday that a court decision on 19 September to block regulatory approval for Foodland to buy a rival New Zealand supermarket chain Woolworths NZ Ltd would stand.

The Bill’s second and third reading formalities are expected to take place later this week.

Foodstuffs (Auckland) Ltd, a unit of NZ’s dominant grocer Foodstuffs, took the issue to the appeals court when it appeared that Foodland would gain clearance for a buyout of Woolworths. Foodland alleges that this appeal was conducted simply to preserve Foodstuff’s dominance in the market. Foodstuffs controls over 50% of the sector.

Progressive meanwhile controls 21% and Woolworths NZ 19%.

Yesterday, Foodland called the government’s decision on its expected bid a “constitutional outrage” and that, in its view, “there is no legal, commercial or constitutional grounds to support Minister Swain’s intention to distinguish Progressive’s clearance from the 10 other clearances affected by the outcome of Foodstuff’s Court of Appeal proceedings”.