Woolworths (formerly Countdown) is a full-service supermarket chain, and a subsidiary of the Australian Woolworths Group. Alongside Foodstuffs (New World, Pak’nSave, Four Square), Woolworths NZ forms part of the New Zealand supermarket duopoly.

Previously known as Countdown, the business is currently in the process of rebranding all stores as Woolworths.

There are nearly 200 Woolworths/Countdown stores throughout New Zealand.

Source: wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolworths_New_Zealand

Throughout this document we will be using Woolworths and Countdown names interchangeably.

Woke Rating

We rate Woolworths/Countdown as woke, especially on LGBTQI+ issues and 40:40:20 gender split.

Woke Summary

  • Gender Ideology & LGBTQ – Woolworths/Countdown is Rainbow Tick Certified, has Rainbow policies, and is heavily involved with many LGBTQI+ events and initiatives such as Pride Month. The company gives very large donations to LGBTQI+ events, organisations and initiatives. 
  • Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) – has DEI policies. Applies gender-based recruitment targets. Committed to 40:40:20 gender split.
  • Climate Change – Supports the Paris Agreement and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Has emissions reduction targets.

Woke Policies

Wokeness and virtue signalling distracts a company from its core business, which is to make a profit for shareholders while delivering excellent, affordable products and services to its customers. Businesses should not be distracted from this core purpose, otherwise there will be unnecessary costs which are ultimately passed onto consumers. Woke ideologies are typically unfriendly towards the traditional family unit.

Below are some woke policies and initiatives from Woolworths/Countdown…

Virtue Signalling

“We’re proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori and support the revitalisation of te reo. It’s up to all of us to make sure our indigenous language not only survives, but thrives. Try the te Reo Māori feature on our self-checkout machines, and set up a te reo challenge in your whare, using our handy flashcards.”



Gender Ideology & LGBTQ+

Countdown/Woolworths is Rainbow Tick Certified, has Rainbow policies, and is involved with many LGBTQI+ events and initiatives such as Pride Month. The company even donates to LGBTQI+ events, organisations and initiatives. 

“At Woolworths, we prioritise celebrating the incredible diversity we have in our teams and communities. We want anyone who walks through our doors to feel included and welcome. That’s why we work with organisations like Rainbow Tick and RainbowYOUTH to hold ourselves accountable to this commitment.”

“We will maintain Rainbow Tick accreditation for five years with a ranking of ‘fully achieved with continuous improvement’”

“We’re proud of our diversity and it’s important to us that all of our team is able to bring their whole selves to work and feel like they belong. Proud at Woolworths is our internal LGBTTQ+ network, with a committee and community who identify as LGBTTQ+ and allies.”


Donations to RainbowYOUTH and Pride events
“In February to March 2024 [Pride Month 2024], customers will have the option to round-up their total to the nearest dollar at checkout with the difference donated to RainbowYOUTH. Woolworths will be chipping in with a $20,000 donation to RainbowYOUTH… We will be donating $20,000 to the Auckland Pride Festival, $2,500 to the Tauranga Moana Pride Picnic, $10,000 to the Wellington Pride Parade, and $5,000 to the Christchurch Pride Parade. We are providing two $4,000 tertiary scholarships to the Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust.”

Partnership with RainbowYOUTH
“Woolworths New Zealand is a long-time partner of RainbowYOUTH, holding annual fundraisers to support their work for queer, gender-diverse and intersex rangatahi in Aotearoa. Our strong team of 22,000 are proud to get behind RainbowYOUTH and in 2023 our partnership raised almost $100,000. That support helped RainbowYOUTH provide support, information, and resources to more than 550 rainbow young people. We also support RainbowYOUTH throughout the year by having $5 and $10 donation options live through our online shopping.”

Other Rainbow Sponsorships
“In 2023, Woolworths sponsored $8,000 in scholarships through the Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust, donated $5,000 to Auckland Pride, sponsored the Tauranga Moana Pride Picnic and supported volunteers at the Big Gay Out and Rainbow Parade with snacks and drinks.”


Countdown is a Rainbow Tick accredited organisation, and as one of New Zealand’s largest employers is committed to promote diversity and inclusion. This year, in addition to helping support RainbowYOUTH, Countdown has sponsored $8,000 in scholarships through the Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust and provided $5,000 in vouchers for Auckland Pride to support artists who have been unable to perform at Pride events this year.”


Woolworths has a Rainbow Pride Logo which is uses during Pride Month and when supporting LGBTQI+ events:


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Woolworths has DEI policies and applies gender recruitment targets. Committed to 40:40:20 gender split (40 percent, 40 percent male, and 20 percent non-binary). 

Committed to 40:40:20 gender split – “Our target is to have a minimum of 40% of our senior leaders be women, alongside 40% men and 20% of any gender.”

“We’re taking a number of steps to increase this. We now track and report our gender mix to leaders every month. In FY22, we made blind short-listing and gender-balanced interview panels standard practice, to address any potential unconscious and conscious bias in our hiring processes.”


“We design our recruitment and selection processes to be equitable and inclusive, attract a diverse range of candidates and guard against any conscious or unconscious biases that might discriminate against certain candidates.”

“We know that people identify in multiple ways and we aim to always acknowledge the intersectionality of our team and communities.”


Goal to achieve 20% Maori and Pasifika at leadership level (L3+).


Climate Change

Woolworths supports the Paris Agreement, and has emissions reduction targets. Committed to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“For us, taking action on climate change means doing more than just reducing harmful effects. We want to create positive outcomes for our planet and future generations. That’s why we’ve pledged to become a net positive business by 2050.

In 2020, we announced our commitment to reduce emissions by 63% by 2030, using our 2015 levels as a baseline. Excitingly, we’re ahead of our plan, having reduced our emissions by 48% already.”


“Our sustainability plan: ‘Kia pai ake te apōpō – A Better Tomorrow’ outlines the commitments we have set out to achieve by 2025. The commitments sit across three focus areas – people, planet and product – and align with the United Nations’ 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.”



Groundswell NZ calls for boycott of Countdown supermarkets:

Countdown has committed to reduce supplier emissions by 19% by 2030. Groundswell NZ is calling for its supporters to boycott Countdown supermarkets for a fortnight, saying the company blames farmers for its emissions.


Positive Policies & Activities

Support of Salvation Army: “The Salvation Army is our largest charity partner. We’ve been working together to help feed people in need for more than 10 years, making sure foodbanks are well stocked through fundraising, food donations, and partnering on The Foodbank Project.”


Zero Food Waste:  “We’ve set ourselves a target of sending zero food waste to landfill by 2025.”


Note – This page was updated as of 20th May 2024. Please contact us if you’ve discovered other relevant information about Woolworths or other businesses pushing woke agendas. You should also contact us if you discover some positively woke-free businesses.

Scroll to Top