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Open mike 23/05/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 23rd, 2022 - 49 comments
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49 comments on “Open mike 23/05/2022 ”

  1. DB Brown 1

    Now that there's clearly a pattern that proves Talley's don't care about their own workers and will in fact rip them off and lie to them… let's just imagine the level of respect they have for the animals, landscapes and oceans they take food from.

    A huge part of shafting suppliers and artificially inflating our food prices will be found within the greedy grasping hands of such an entity.

    An entity that we now know, for certain, will cause great harm to people and blatantly lie about it.

    Why are so many of the rich pieces of shit. What's to be done other than getting to the point a mob does the doing?

      • weka 1.1.1

        The control Talley's and AFFCO have over staff comes from the Accredited Employers' Programme, designed to give private companies the ability to work "in the shoes of ACC".

        It gives both companies the power to make their own decisions on ACC claims filed by their employees – they can choose whether to accept or reject workers' applications for compensation following accidents at their factories.

        The companies are also financially liable for those injuries and must follow the law and proper procedures. They must rehabilitate injured workers and pay proper weekly compensation, as ACC would.

        But correspondence obtained by 1News under the Official Information Act shows ACC has repeatedly had to intervene after the two companies failed to live up to that standard.

        What set of bright spark MPs thought this scheme would be a good idea given the inherent conflict of interest?

        • Brigid 1.1.1.1

          It's a jolly good scheme from Talleys point of view and quite disgusting. Where's the labour party when one needs it to protect workers right

      • DB Brown 1.1.2

        Sorry bout the missing link – it's just how I look in the morning. wink

    • nzsage 1.2

      "Why are so many of the rich pieces of shit."

      Because the capitalist system rewards those who are "pieces of shit".

    • Patricia Bremner 1.3

      Hello DB. It appears Maryanne Street Labour in 2008 began this accreditation idea. It has probably been tweeked by Smith during his tenure. However Talley's reputation has been sullied by many incidents. Thanks to Weka.

  2. Joe90 2

    @weka

    The set responsible for the Accident Insurance Act 1998, of course.

  3. Joe90 3

    Troubles at home.

    https://crooksandliars.com/2022/05/fuck-war-russians-shout-concert-st

    “The motherland, my friends, is not the president’s ass that has to be slobbered and kissed all the time,” Shevchuk told an 8,000-strong crowd at DDT’s concert in Ufa Wednesday.

    “The motherland is an impoverished babushka at the train station selling potatoes.”

    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/05/19/soviet-rock-star-prosecuted-for-putins-ass-anti-war-speech-a77732

  4. nzsage 4

    See: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/128681636/how-cereal-is-affecting-what-we-pay-for-milk-in-new-zealand

    Fonterra's textbook example of how to price gouge and demonstrate capitalism at its finest.

    "A Fonterra spokesperson said because New Zealand was an export-led country, the price of dairy products was determined by the international markets."

    So let me get this straight, prices rise due to "international markets" and global grain prices when NZ farmers mainly pastoral feed cows and grain feed only when pastoral feed is low, all this when just 5% of Fonterra's products are sold domestically.

    Maybe NZ wages should be aligned to “international markets”, say Australian wages?

    I can hear David Seymour screaming already.

    • Belladonna 4.1

      Same is true for any of our export agribusinesses (lamb, kiwifruit, crayfish, wine, etc.).

      There is no legal mechanism to require a proportion to be sold in NZ at domestic prices. Which is why crayfish has been out of my price range for the last 20 years.

      So the companies have a legal responsibility to their shareholders to sell goods at the highest price possible – which means that NZ pays international prices.

      If we (as a country) want to change this, then we (as in the government) need to change the legislation to require 'NZ pricing'. ATM, Fonterra (or any other company) would be in breach of their legal duty to shareholders to sell at 'domestic' prices.

      NB: this doesn't explain why it's frequent to find NZ goods cheaper in London (for example) than they are here… I'm still trying to get my head around this one]

      • DB Brown 4.1.1

        "So the companies have a legal responsibility to their shareholders to sell goods at the highest price possible"

        Again, the passive income 'earners' get to sit on their chuff and shaft everyone else courtesy of the law of the land.

        It should be that if you operate within a countries borders you take care of that country and the people of that country. Anything less is simply taking the piss.

        • Belladonna 4.1.1.1

          It's the way capitalism works. Those who invest, reap the rewards of success and bear the cost of failure. For every successful business start-up, there are multiple failed ones. For agribusiness in particular, they have to deal with market fluctuations (there have been times when milk prices are low, and the farms barely cover costs), and they rely on the highs to outweigh the lows.

          We should also factor the climate change emissions targets into this – a major shift away from dairy, reduction in herds, etc. (as is wanted by many of the climate activists), is going to mean that the cost of dairy products will inevitably rise again (when something is in short supply, the cost per unit goes up)

          If you want to modify that, then you need to legislate for it. How do you think that legislation might be worded? Are there any downstream consequences on business viability?

          But moaning about businesses operating as they are legally required to do, is pretty pointless.

          • DB Brown 4.1.1.1.1

            But that's a load of corporate bumper sticker nonsense.

            Remember the bailout for financial institutions?

            "Bear the cost of failure" – do you actually believe what you just posted?

            The environment and populace are those bearing the cost of many of these businesses, and complaining should be done loudly and longly from me, and anyone and everyone else sick of this corporate bullshit. They've got their hands in the till everywhere.

            And no matter how well companies and the economy do, we hear more whinging about how hard they've got it to justify more gouging at the till. Frankly, sick of it. Utter BS.

            Yes, the legalese needs to be challenged. As do all the shits who use and abuse the land and people for profit.

            • nzsage 4.1.1.1.1.1

              … and dare we mention the Air New Zealand bailout?

              "Bear the cost of failure" my ar..!

              • Belladonna

                Air NZ bailout is an example of a business which was too big to fail (in the NZ context). The government bailed it out, because they wanted to have a NZ airline.

                Which has nothing to do with the price of cheese (or any other food commodity)

                I think if you look at agribusiness in general, there have been multiple failures (farmers going broke, winemakers going out of business, kiwifruit orchards being sold off). In these cases, the costs have indeed been borne by the (failed) business owners.

                In fact, there are a constant parade of them selling off land to overseas interests – which I think is a much bigger problem.

            • Belladonna 4.1.1.1.1.2

              If you want to argue that the Ardern government shouldn't have bailed out companies over the Covid crisis, then that's a different conversation.

              My personal belief is that the bail-out should have been reconciled at the end of the financial year – and that companies making a profit (e.g. Briscoes) should have been required to pay it back.

              Labour's argument was that it was better to keep people in jobs during the crisis (especially as the shut-down was Government imposed).

              From a 'pure' capitalism perspective, there should have been neither bail out, nor shut down. If businesses failed (because no one wants to travel or eat out in a pandemic, then bearing the cost of failure should be on that business.

              However, on the local agribusiness scale, individual businesses do fail all the time. And don't get bailed out. Just as individual entrepreneurs fail, and restaurants fail, and companies fail.

              I don't mind agitating for change — though it would be helpful to provide concrete suggestions of what you'd change (in terms of legislation). But it truly is pointless to complain about business doing what they are legally required to do.

      • Brigid 4.1.2

        'companies have a legal responsibility to their shareholders to sell goods at the highest price possible '

        I'm pretty sure that's a fallacy. Can you refer to the legislation that covers this?

        • Belladonna 4.1.2.1

          Companies Act 1993

          https://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0105/188.0/DLM320657.html

          " a director of a company, when exercising powers or performing duties, must act in good faith and in what the director believes to be the best interests of the company."

          How could choosing to sell goods at a lower price, be interpreted as acting in the best interests of the company?

          Here's a fairly basic overview – it is from a US website, but my understanding is that company law in this area isn't substantially different in NZ.

          • The board of directors is elected by the shareholders to govern the management team and to make corporate decisions on their behalf.
          • The board is directly responsible for protecting and managing shareholders' interests in the company

          https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/05/shareholderinterest.asp

          • Belladonna 4.1.2.1.1

            This responsibility is delegated to the CEO and to managers on a day-to-day operational basis.

            And, of course, allows things like 'loss leaders' (where products are sold at a lower price to entice customers to buy more), and entry to market pricing (lower price to entice initial sales).

            But there has to be a demonstrated 'benefit to the company', or the managers and directors are at risk of being found personally liable – and the penalties are really severe…

            Companies Law is an arcane minefield.

          • Brigid 4.1.2.1.2

            So no, you can't refer to the legislation that states companies have a legal responsibility to their shareholders to sell goods at the highest price possible.

            • Belladonna 4.1.2.1.2.1

              I just did.

              Did you read any of the links provided?

              Specifically for Fonterra (which is where this started), it’s laid out in black and white in their articles of association

              “The purpose of the Company in carrying out its business is to maximise the wealth of its shareholders by:

              (a) the sale of their Milk; ”

              How would you be ‘maximizing the wealth of shareholders’ by selling at lower prices than the market warrants?

              These aren’t just nice to have sentiments – these are legal documents, with legally enforceable consequences.

    • Ad 4.2

      The international dairy price has little to do with the price of NZ inputs.

      There are both supply-side and demand-side factors, which RNZ outlines here:

      Why are global dairy prices so high? Here's what you need to know | RNZ News

      Less than 4% of NZ milk produced is consumed within New Zealand.

      96% is exported, and with payouts at around $9.40 per kilo continues to keep much of the economy of Waikato, Taranaki, Canterbury, Otago and Southland exceptionally buoyant.

      14_Shadbolt.pdf (ifama.org)

      We are rapidly heading for $10 per milksolid kilo in the next year. We were struggling to make $3-$4 when Fonterra was formed.

      In the supermarket yesterday it was $21 for an ordinary kilo of cheese.

      • Molly 4.2.1

        Looking at milk solid prices, without looking at increased debt or environmental or social externalities only paints part of the picture.

        NZers pay costs with or without purchasing at increased prices.

        • Belladonna 4.2.1.1

          Whose debt? The agribusiness (aka farmers) debt? They rely on periodic high prices to pay this down.

          The national debt? They contribute towards the reduction of this (just as every other business and individual does) through their taxes.

          Environmental costs? Do you mean the direct environmental consequences of farming? If so, the ETS is designed to deal with this (we can argue about how effectively, or whether agriculture needs to be brought in earlier – but the mechanism is there). NB: this is likely to reduce the taxable income that the Farmer receives, and therefore their tax payments. Also the reduction in the herd will almost certainly increase milk solid prices substantially.

          Social costs? I don't think it's the job of business to deal pre-emptively with social impacts. It's the job of the government, through regulation and legislation. In the past this was things like safety legislation, reduction on emissions (clean air), and food quality (not adulterating your milk with water); I've not seen any legislative programme to address food pricing in an international environment of world shortages – in NZ (though other countries have banned exports of critical substances).

          • pat 4.2.1.1.1

            The ag sector (of which dairy is the largest0 create the demand for the NZD…without it everything else is moot

            • Belladonna 4.2.1.1.1.1

              I don't follow your argument. Can you expand?

              • pat

                probably shouldnt have been in response to your comment, however quite simply if we have nothing to trade there is no need for anyone else to want NZD…and that is a major problem when we dont/cant provide that which we need/want….what we have to trade is ag produce, mainly dairy.

                If we dont want dairy (or the trade) then we have to accept we dont want imports….or certainly anything like the volume of imports we currently 'enjoy'

                • Belladonna

                  OK. But I don't see that we're never going to require to import anything: EVs (or ebikes), computers, diesel (to run farm machinery), medical supplies, etc. The list goes on.

                  Realistically, we're not going to be producing those in NZ in the short term (and some we can *never* produce – don't have the required minerals).

                  I don't think that NZ is anywhere close to voluntarily giving up our lifestyle, in order to cut out exports.

                  It's a nice thought experiment, but not going to happen in the real world.

                  • pat

                    I think you have completely misunderstood my post…i am not suggesting we dont import (as much as I would like to be in that position) …I am observing that if we want to import then ipso facto we must export…and pretty much the only thing we have to export that the world wants is ag produce.

                    The NZD is only of use if it is tradable….otherwise it is just (more) plastic.

      • Bearded Git 4.2.2

        I seem to remember reading that NZ produces 5% of the world's milk.

        The biggest producer is India.

  5. Adrian 5

    The price of a Tasty 18 month aged cheese block is a rort, it is being sold wholesale to the supermarkets as if it was produced in the last few months rather than at the cost to Fonterra when they bought the milk almost two years ago. That’s the real rort being perpetrated here, these are huge windfall profits, and the next time I hear a Fonterra share owning cow cockie complaining he is getting a fucking earful.

    • Belladonna 5.1

      The sale price has nothing to do with the input price. It the current price that can be gained with international trading.

      As I said above, the business has a legal duty to sell products at the best price. If they don't they are breaching their statutory requirement to their shareholders.

      If you want to change this, you need to change the law.

      • nzsage 5.1.1

        According to Fonterra's "Articles of Association":

        The purpose of the Company in carrying out its business is to maximise the wealth of its shareholders by:

        (a) the sale of their Milk;

        (b) providing a purchaser of that Milk; and

        (c) enhancing the value of the Company as a co-operative.

        So it's about the sale & purchase of milk for shareholders, with no mention of "best price".

        Given the varying retail prices of NZ Dairy products across the globe Fonterra clearly has the ability to determine different prices for different markets. So why not cheaper prices in NZ?

        Are you suggesting @Belladonna that there is an Act of Parliament that imposes the price obligation? If so, a link would be useful.

        • Belladonna 5.1.1.1

          Your quote from Fonterra references ‘maximising the wealth of the shareholders’ through the sale of milk. The word ‘maximizing’ implies ‘best price.

          There's nothing there about making reduced-price sales locally – or factoring in any domestic, environmental or social factors.

          Do you have any evidence that Fonterra sell at reduced prices overseas?

          I'd be surprised if they are, because their shareholder base is very focused on the milk-solids price, and increasing this wherever possible.

          My point about legislation is that it doesn't exist. If we (as a country) want to specify domestic pricing, then we (as the government) need to legislate for this.

      • Poission 5.1.2

        In April we moved to a trade surplus due to higher international commodity prices of which Dairy was part.

        Milk powder, butter, and cheese (our largest export commodity group) was the largest contributor to the rise, up $378 million (30 percent) to $1.6 billion.

        • Milk powder rose $136 million (19 percent) in value, and the quantity exported fell 8.6 percent. The average unit value rose 30 percent.
        • Butter rose $76 million (71 percent) in value, and the quantity exported rose 26 percent. The average unit value rose 36 percent.
        • Cheese rose $49 million (30 percent) in value, and the quantity exported rose 6.3 percent. The average unit value rose 23 percent.

        https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/overseas-merchandise-trade-april-2022

        This helped pay the interest on our half trillion overseas debt.

        • Belladonna 5.1.2.1

          Not to mention all of the imports that Kiwis consume.

          Your EV, electric bike, phone or computer (on which you're reading this), all come from overseas, and are 'bought' with the profits of our international agribusiness sales.

  6. weston 8

    This 9 min vid is about Mariupol and for those who havnt seen it provides interesting glimpses of the city both in 2014 and a couple of weeks ago on the 9th of this month .

    As anyone can see by the drone footage and contrary to most media reportage Mariopol has not been "flattened " in fact large parts of the city are intact .

    Most of this footage is of the may 9th Russian victory day parade but for comparison there are scenes of the initial opening days of Ukrainian occupation also , showing the first tanks smashing through the civilian barricades .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1I8SZeXGFo

  7. Peter 9

    Came across something giving pause to ponder:

    "Shortly after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison wrote in The New Yorker: "Unlike any nation in Europe, the United States holds whiteness as the unifying force. Here, for many people, the definition of 'Americanness' is color." Reflecting on efforts — largely by White men — to define themselves by sustaining that poisonous definition, Morrison argues that those "who are prepared to abandon their humanity out of fear of black men and women, suggest the true horror of lost status.

    In Morrison's formulation, fear-driven devotion to racial status is more powerful to many White Americans than even self-interest, shame or any belief in humanity. And it is this reality, that White Americans' anxieties in the face of a changing country have been and continue to be weaponized with disastrous and violent results, that has been instrumental in fueling the spread of so-called "replacement theory," the false and bigoted claim that elites are conspiring to replace Whites with minorities."

    Is this what the gerrymandering efforts in some states is about?

    Its application to New Zealand? I reckon fundamentally that the going berserk about hearing "kia ora" or "ngā pitopito kōrero" is about the same thing.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2022/05/22/opinions/opinion-weekly-column-carr/index.html

  8. ianmac 10

    Timing? On the eve of Jacinda flying to the USA, Claire Trevett chooses to have a grand page devoted to the glorious John Key's chumming up to the Presidents of the USA.Undermining perhaps? Ugh!

    Last week, Sir John Key spoke to the NZ Herald about the importance of building a personal relationship with the US President – and whether he is still in touch with the President he went to visit at the White House, Barack Obama.

    Key also talked about New Zealand's relationship with China and the United States, saying balancing those relationships was now much harder than when he was PM and he feared the time was coming when New Zealand would be asked to "pick a side".

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/sir-john-key-on-white-house-visits-barack-obama-us-president-joe-biden-and-whether-nz-will-have-to-take-a-side-between-us-and-china/WTWXJACLUOLNGAG62OKKDTUUM4/

  9. SPC 11

    It seems the OCR is going up from 1.5% to 2.0% (a second increase of 0.5%)

    The logic of this, rather than a slower rate of increase, is most likely to place upward pressure on the dollar value (a higher dollar value to reduce imported costs).

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/128683248/nz-reserve-bank-tipped-to-raise-official-cash-rate-to-highest-level-since-2016

    This will impact floating interest rates domestically. We usually consider the impact of this on homeowners with mortgages – but it will impact on farmers.

    • SPC 11.1

      A graph those with mortgages might want to look at, as to the trend.

      https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/key-graphs/key-graph-mortgage-rates

      OCR levels during those years

      https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/monetary-policy/official-cash-rate-decisions.

    • Poission 11.2

      The logic of the OCR price increases is to constrain inflation.The largest driver is the household sector ( purchases ,building costs,utilities such as rates and energy)

      The purpose of the double hike is to remove all doubt from pricing indicators in the housing sectors,that enhanced inflation drivers,will be hammered down to they reach a neutral position.

      All central banks in the developed economy have taken the position,that most asset classes are over valued,and wealth destruction will persist to they return to their historical fundamentals.

      Here we already have the highest priced wholesale bonds in the developed economy,despite having a low gvt/gdp debt.The market also prices in both our total debt risk,and currency risk.Which is why it has not had a substantive movement since the last ocr increase.

    • pat 11.3

      It will impact on everything…as it is designed to do. One of the things it will impact on, that everyone is avoiding is wages, you cannot reduce inflation without impacting earnings…one way or another real wages will fall….think about that.

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