Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard says high rents have forced the closure of one of Wainuiomata's two supermarkets, with the loss of 44 jobs.
The Lower Hutt suburb's New World supermarket is closing after owner Foodstuffs decided it would not pay for renovation of the store because of its location in a mall.
Trevor Mallard says the mall is owned by people outside the Wellington community and managed from Auckland.
"I think they think the shops there can pay Auckland rents and its very hard for (a) supermarket to do the modernisation which is necessary these days."
Mr Mallard says the mall is basically being run down.
Mr Mallard says the closure is a massive problem for Wainuiomata as other employers have also cut jobs in recent months.
With the store's closure, the suburb's nearly 17,000 residents have one supermarket.
Foodstuffs says it is looking at other locations for a possible new supermarket in the future and Mr Mallard is hopeful another can be set up in the suburb.