Countdown to tackle period poverty with reduced priced sanitary items

Drive 24/07/2018
Photo: File.

A New Zealand supermarket chain is cutting the cost of in-house sanitary items in a bid to tackle period poverty. 

Countdown has dropped the price of its Homebrand and Select sanitary products to make them more affordable.

The price of a 20 pack of Homebrand regular liners has gone down from $3.50 to $2.00 while a 20 pack of Select regular tampons was dropped in price from $3.49 to $3.00.

Corporate Affairs General Manager Kiri Hannifin said one of the drivers for making sanitary products more affordable is to help address the worldwide phenomenon.

She told Ryan Bridge and Marama Fox on RadioLIVE Drive that there are a number of reasons behind the move.

"We have been working with food rescue partners over several years now and increasingly they've brought to our attention the fact that people are coming to them not only asking for food but asking for sanitary items," she said.

"Period poverty is a worldwide phenomenon and a reality here in New Zealand.  

"Too many women go without sanitary products themselves so they can provide essentials like food and rent for their family, or for some families it's simply something they can't stretch their budgets to afford for their children."

She says sanitary products are a necessity for all women, no matter what.

Meanwhile, RadioLIVE Drive co-host Marama Fox, filling in for Lisa Owen, says Countdown reducing the prices of its sanitary products is a step away from the days when women had to use rags or moss while on their periods.

The supermarket has announced it will make its Homebrand and Select menstrual products more affordable to combat what's known as the 'period tax' - an additional expense women have to pay because of their biology.

Guest hosting RadioLIVE's Drive show on Tuesday, the Māori Party leader commended Countdown on the move.

There are suggestions women should use a reusable menstrual cup. Last year, Labour MP Louisa Wall submitted an application to Pharmac to fund menstrual cups as a medical device.

Listen to the full interviews above.

Drive with Ryan Bridge and Marama Fox, filling in for Lisa Owen, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.