Both supermarket chains in Queenstown are struggling to find staff, due to a skilled labour shortage and a worsening housing crisis. Michelle and Anthony King, owners-operators of the new Pak’nSave store that is scheduled to open this Thursday, said it hadn’t been easy to find staff to fill all 150 job positions.

And according to a Countdown spokesperson, a nearby Countdown supermarket, opened in October last year, recently had to transport at least five specialists staff from Invercargill and Dunedin, putting them in hotels. The store, which employs 91 staff, currently has some vacancies to fill.