I tweeted a thought the other day, wondering if The Warehouse was the Steven Joyce of NZ retail. The Warehouse tweeted back asking what did I mean (awkward!), so I explained that Mr Joyce is considered the “Minister of Everything” for his many and varied portfolios and general “Mr Fix it” role in government and that the Warehouse is the “Retailer of Everything” selling CDs, books, toys, clothes, appliances, plants, food, etc. etc. etc. The Warehouse tweeter seemed happy with my explanation and NZ blogging and Twitter icon Moata Tamaira opined to me, “If only The Warehouse could go into politics.” “Hmmm,” I thought, why not?
Think about it – The Warehouse would be the perfect political party. Its red branding, egalitarian “Where EVERYONE gets a bargain” slogan and work in the community would appeal to socially minded voters, while its massive retailing empire, overseas trading ability and the sheer volume of money that flows through the company (the amount of GST they accumulate each year must be staggering) would appeal to those of a more capitalistic bend.
Too often politicians are criticised for “not living in the real world”, well the Warehouse is certainly part of the real world and has become such a feature of everyday life for New Zealanders that it would be the perfect interface between politics and the public. Go in store to buy a new pair of pants and pick up some shares in a state-owned power company at the same time (Note: I do not know what The Warehouse’s stance is on asset sales, I’m just using it as an example). Buy a DVD and you could also file your tax return at the checkout. Purchase some oil for your car and pay the registration at the same time. Brilliant, eh? Need to talk to your local member for parliament? Look no further than the information kiosk, or attending to the clean up in aisle four – in the Warehouse Political Party “public service” really does mean serving the public!
As Peter Dunne’s (499 people formerly known as) United Future discovered, politics is all about support and membership. This is from where the term “card carrying member” originates. The Warehouse already has financial contributors in the millions. Every day thousands of New Zealanders shop there, that’s a lot of grassroots support. Want to join the Warehouse Political Party? If you have a Warehouse store credit card, you could already be a member!
So there you go. It’s a little over a year to the next general election, the current mob in parliament (on both sides of the chamber) don’t seem to be making any new friends, or keeping many old ones and a gap has opened up with United Future ceasing to have an actual future, or a present for that matter, so it would be the perfect time for a new party to sweep into power and who better to do it than The Warehouse?