6 Jul 2011

Kuia says Pungarehu store vital to community

8:29 pm on 6 July 2011

A kuia from Parihaka says the possible closure of the Taranaki Farmers store in nearby Pungarehu would be a blow to Pā residents.

Allied Farmers is considering closing or selling its 11 retail stores which trade as Taranaki Farmers and King Country Farmers.

Stores in Kaponga, Pātea and Te Kuiti have been closed since March and sold.

The Pungarehu store does not only sell farm supplies: it is also the post office, holds the key to the local hall and sells subscription keys to the community-run swimming pool.

Kui Mairangi Phillips remembers her parents shopping at the store and says it is still a vital local meeting place.

She says many people in the community do not have vehicles and will have to travel longer distances to get to a dairy if the Pungarehu store closes.