Open Country polluting our rivers too

Written By: - Date published: 12:16 pm, September 19th, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: Environment, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

open-countryThe Talleys and National Party-linked Open Country Cheese is currently trying to run its factory without its workers as it attempts to bust the union and casualise its workforce.

They’ve said they’re running the factory (arguably illegally) with local farmers and strike-breakers flown in from other parts of the country. Problem is, these people aren’t trained properly to do the work and the result is major environmental damage.

As Dairy Workers Union secretary James Ritchie told NZPA:

“Environmental management is a critical part of any dairy operation but OCC wants to drive production at any cost,” he said.

“Today the environmental ponds overflowed with deactivated sludge and poured into the river. The sludge tanks need to be managed by trained staff and is a critical part of the manufacturing process. Normally the sludge is collected by trucks and spread on farms, but we found out this morning that it had been poured directly into the Waitoa river.”

Environment Waikato had been notified of the damage, while the company is refusing to comment.

Given its long record of environmental damage, breach of labour rights and political corruption I’m strongly of the opinion that the Talleys should be stripped of their right to engage in business in New Zealand. We’re better off without them.

17 comments on “Open Country polluting our rivers too”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    I’m strongly of the opinion that the Talleys should be stripped of their right to engage in business in New Zealand.

    I’d add that all their assets should be stripped from them as well to cover the costs of cleaning up after them.

  2. Sorry not quite on point but the latest Roy Morgan poll has Labour up 4% to 34% and National down 4% to 51%. The poll result is at

    These continuous scandals the nats are getting themselves into may now finally be having an effect.

    Seeing the anti union actions taken by the Government and its friends may finally be having an effect in the polls.

  3. felix 3

    I assume Key is “pretty relaxed” about this too.

    Anyone know exactly how much of this company he owns?

  4. Tim Ellis 4

    Don’t stop there Eddie. Since you’ve proven such a good case against the Talleys (with no political motivation or bias on your part) I agree that capital punishment and water boarding is too good for them.

    • BLiP 4.1

      Avast yea sufferin’ scurvy labia eared sea dog – take yer bletherin’ ashore and don’t be mutterin’ such scoundrel words again – off with yer . . . arrrr

  5. Beth 5

    “Environment Waikato spokesman Chris McLay says they have been busy containing the spill…..” see:

  6. Red Rosa 6

    All they need now at OCC is Crafar Farms as major supplier.

    Oh yes, and as Media Advisor too…..

    • Armchair Critic 6.1

      Crafars would probably advise OCC to pump the effluent over the hill into Hawkes Bay. No one would ever notice the effects on the Mohaka River anyway.

  7. ieuan 7

    Latest from the Herald………..

    But Open Country chief executive officer Mark Fankhauser said the coincidence of the incident with the strike led him to believe the spill might have been intentionally caused by a striking worker.

    “My view, and clearly I’m speculating, is that I suspect it wasn’t done by any people that were legitimately on site,” he said.

    “It is subject to investigation, but in order to do what was done it would require detailed knowledge of the particular work area.”

    There are only two options here:
    (i) Mark Fankhauser is talking a load of bullocks,
    (ii) He is 100% correct and this reflects extremely badly on the union.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      Ever so convincing, after a few days of looking at the problem, that the person with the best access to the facts would couch his statement as:

      “My view, and clearly I’m speculating, is that I suspect…”

      If that’s not a flat out admission of (i) then what would be?

    • NickS 7.2

      ‘Tis a wonderful thing to see someone in a position in which brains are most definitely required utterly fail to use them, since he automatically assumes that the strike-breakers can’t possibly f*ck up. Which there’s no rational reason not to think otherwise, given it usually takes time to learn how to use machinery and methods etc and avoid making mistakes.

  8. r van stelrooy 8

    the company has 24 hour watch on and in the site so no union members are able to get on site.
    so this spill was not done by a striking unoin member.
    Fankhausers got nothing better to do but blame other for there stuff up.
    stand tall Fankhauser take the blame for your stuff uos

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