Countdown has announced a scheme to cut the cost of women’s sanitary products, in an effort to help fight period poverty.

The supermarket chain will cut the prices of its Homebrand and Select tampon and pad ranges, some by up to 40 per cent, in all stores across the country. The move is projected to save customers up to $750,000 a year in sanitary protection costs.

Unfortunately, period poverty is a reality in New Zealand with many family’s budgets prioritising necessities like food and rent over the personal hygiene products.

Countdown’s General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Kiri Hannifin, said that while all women will benefit from lower prices, one of the drivers was to help address a real need for many women and girls in New Zealand.

“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."

“Sanitary products are a necessity for all women, no matter who you are or where you come from.  The fact that not all women and girls can access them is something Countdown felt we wanted to help address by making good quality products more affordable for all women,” says Kiri Hannifin.

Last year the government drug-buying agency Pharmac rejected a request to provide funding for all female hygiene products stating that they were not considered medicine.

Countdown has always been aware of the countries period poverty with the supermarket chain, The Salvation Army and Manurewa MP Louisa Wall launching a 2016 initiative to help stock food banks across the country with sanitary items. The Foodbank Project has since seen more than $190,000 personal care products donated to those in need.


The changes to Countdown's own brand sanitary products are listed below.

Homebrand Regular Liners 20pk Now $2.00 Was $3.30
Homebrand Pads Regular 20pk $2.00 $3.50
Homebrand Pads Super 18pk $2.00 $3.50
Homebrand Pads Regular with wings 16pk $2.00 $3.50
Homebrand Pads Super with wings 14pk $2.00 $3.50
Select Pads Ultra Thin Regular with wings 14pk $2.80 $4.99
Select Pads Ultra Thin Super with wings 12pk $2.80 $4.00
Select Pads Ultra Thin Night with wings 10pk $2.80 $4.00
Select Pads Night Time with wings 10pk $2.80 $4.00
Select Tampons Regular 20pk $3.00 $3.49
Select Tampons Super 16pk $3.00 $3.49
Select Thick Regular Pads with wings 16pk $3.50 $4.99
Select Thick Super Pads with wings 14pk $3.50 $4.99
Select Liners Breathable 48pk $3.80 $4.00
Select Liners Breathable Scented 48pk $3.80 $4.00