Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, September 27th, 2017 - 116 comments
Categories: climate change, economy, Economy, Environment, ETS, farming, national, nz first, same old national, sustainability, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, water, winston peters, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: rachel stewart
If you wanted to know all that is wrong with New Zealand right now recent publicity about Fonterra’s boss Theo Spiering’s salary provides a perfect example. The boss of the organisation owned by farmers who complained bitterly at how cleaning up our rivers that they polluted and addressing climate change caused by their stock would send them broke is paying the boss of their organisation large amounts of money. Without complaint.
How much? A cool $8.3 million a year which is $160,000 a week. And he is not the only Fonterra executive with a super sized pay cheque.
Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings earned a total of $8.32 million in 2017, a 57 per cent jump from last year.
His earnings are made up of a $2.46m base salary, superannuation benefits of $170,036, and performance payments for 2016 and 2017 of $1.83m and $3.85m, the co-operative’s latest annual reports shows.
Spierings is not the only big earner in New Zealand’s largest company, with 23 other executives receiving up to $1m for their efforts. Of those, five left the company during the year.
I am surprised the farming community is not up in arms like they were at the thought of paying a modest water tax during the last weeks of the election.
Where are the pitch forks and the loud protests and the marching in the street with rather awkward protest signs? There has been not a peep from the so called backbone of the country since the news broke.
Paying modest amounts to a fund that will start the clean up process is bad but paying the chief executive and others ridiculous amounts for doing their job is fine?
Rachel Stewart in the Herald has the perfect response in this article discussing Peters’ play for Government:
Winston is also a rare breed of politician who uses the word “neo-liberal” as a pejorative. This is good. This is very, very good. Because on Monday, a perfectly odious illustration of the “n” word made for nauseating headlines. One that inspired the NZF leader to put his money where his mouth is.
Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings’ salary (including bonuses) of nearly $8.3m was announced. It made for sickening reading, and not only for the many Kiwis struggling to afford the basics of milk and cheese. It is a galling example of everything wrong with our nation’s addiction to dairy farming, nest feathering, and inequality.
Fonterra wasted no time in attempting to justify the bonuses. Chairman John Wilson said short-term and senior executive incentives were met, which brought in about $2 billion of cash and working capital.
“Clearly these numbers are high from a New Zealand perspective and we absolutely respect and understand that, from an Australasian and a global perspective which is the nature of our business, they’re actually well within the bands of what those global executives earn.”
Oh, so it’s New Zealanders who just don’t understand the ways of the world then? Here’s an idea. How about Spierings’ remuneration being tied to meeting water quality and environmental targets, rather than how much capital he raised.
I can understand Fonterra’s fear of a progressive Government. It by itself is one of the country’s biggest CO2 emitters because of the burning of coal to turn milk into powder. Farming also produces huge amounts of methane and the farming sector as a whole produced 46% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2013.. In 2013 it pumped out 1.17 million tonnes of CO2. The country’s total output of CO2 and equivalent greenhouse gasses (including methane) was 76 million tonnes. Farmers seem to think it unfair that they should pay the cost of their pollution of the world’s environment. But if you are going to preserve the environment, and farming needs a sustainable environment, then the cost has to be met.
But hey someone accuse me of engaging in the politics of envy. After all these people are super beings with amazing talents that justify the payment to them of insane amounts of money while their company sells a product that too many poor Kiwi families cannot afford to buy.
— Invisiphilia (@invisiphilia) September 26, 2017