- Date published:
10:20 am, August 6th, 2013 - 103 comments
Categories: Conservation, International, john key, national, tourism, trade - Tags: 100% pure new zealand, china, fail
The world has become a very strange place when NZ is getting lectured by China. Problem is, they aren’t wrong.
100% Pure ‘festering sore’ – China news sites
China’s state-run news agency has delivered a sharp critique of New Zealand in the wake of Fonterra’s contamination crisis, describing this country’s 100 per cent Pure tourism campaign as a “festering sore” and saying free market ideology resulted in Kiwi homes becoming damp, leaky and uninhabitable.
In an editorial article published on a number of major Chinese news websites overnight, Xinhua says the time has come to ask the New Zealand Government, “Where is the quality control?”
The news agency, regarded as a mouthpiece of China’s Government, says this country’s food safety problems are not “mere details” – they are beginning to look systemic.
“One could argue the country is hostage to a blinkered devotion to laissez-faire market ideology. Many New Zealanders fell victim to this when the construction industry was deregulated two decades ago resulting in damp and leaky homes that quickly became uninhabitable,” Xinhua said.
“While it’s true the government isn’t responsible for the contamination of Fonterra produce, it should be held accountable for the fact that nothing was done to identify the problem before it was dispatched to export markets and domestic customers.” …
The news agency goes on to describe John Key’s defence of the 100 per cent Pure tourism campaign, when in April the Prime Minister compared it to McDonald’s “I’m Loving it” slogan and said it needed to be taken “with a pinch of salt”.
“No, Mr Key, it needs to be fixed before your trading partners just stop loving it,” Xinhua said.
Go read the whole article at The Herald.
China is perfectly able to see clearly what so many complacent New Zealanders are unwilling or unable to see at all.
While I agree with much of the criticisms of NZ in the article, I am thinking there is something else happening with respect to the bigger picture. it’s indicated in this comment in the article:
And reinforced here:
Following on the hold-ups of NZ meat imports to China, I’d say there’s some powerful people in china hitting out at Key’s favouring of the US’s economic, security and political interests.
Good point, Karol. The last remark has the stink of the
Personal over it.
China probably has a 100 person size bureaucracy focussed on monitoring NZ issues.
The US push is for additional de-regulation and freeing up of markets. China is going right the other way.
Exactly, Tigger and CV. Those are the reasons those particular sentences caught my attention.
I think there are a few things going on Karol. Key’s arrogant attitude doesn’t go down that well sometimes when he heads off on those little jaunts to places like China and South America.
Pissing off the diplomatic corps wasn’t such a good idea either. On top of that, I don’t imagine the Chinese are that chuffed with Key’s hero worship of the U.S., NOR the way many Chinese (and other) nationals have been treated in recent times – some having been conned by private tertiary institutions and rogue employers. Then there’s all that pot calling kettle black stuff that Key is so good at.
There’s much that China isn’t too chuffed about.
BTW ….. anything substantial come of that little South American jaunt yet?
Oh just btw Karol – I’ve heard that many Chinese find difficulty in trying to translate ‘the Key’.
The eggscent makes it difficult at times – there’s this ‘sloshing, slurring’ sound going on, in amongst that eh eh eh eh shit (reminiscent of a Little Britain character). I can understand Chinese trenzlaydahs ploit – sometimes I have to take a double pass.
It’s arrogance, laziness and wholier-than-thou shit – and the Chinese (and actually the South Americans have picked up on it). Here’s this Wall Stret ‘golden boy’ with a lecturing/ideological manner pushing a New Zull case – when the Wall Street failures are now self evident evident during the era Key
Best wishes John on your Indian jaunt – whenever it gets planned.
Eh eh eh Eeeeeeh Itchum smetchum shhhlishung goan forwid
Karol, I noticed that too: the criticism is of Key’s actions and philosophy. Stuff are reporting that “Key also said he would head to China if required to reassure New Zealand’s biggest export market.”
Do you suppose they’ll find that reassuring?
If we are lucky, they will show him the inside of one of their prisons and accidentally lose the KEY!!!
Maybe they are also worried about the proposed Labour Anti Asian stance on land ownership and house buying – it just gets worse for the Chinese, on top of Fonterra’s bumpy travels over there in the past couple of years
the proposed Labour Anti Asian stance on land ownership and house buying
It was NAct’s spin that made the policy about Asians. It is about foreign ownership of land – a policy that occurs in Aussie and other countries. It’s certainly not one of the “laissez faire” policies that the article is critical of.
Sometimes its the stuff that’s not written about that we should be worried about. Nat’s have dropped the ball over the past 8 months but the problem is that none of the other parties have anything to offer – Politics in general does not seem to attract very smart people in terms of governing a country.
Another fascinating thing is that the Xing Hua article hit just the right notes with context which makes sense to locals ie NZers. I would not be surprised if the Chinese article was written, or at least edited by, their consulate staff in NZ or perhaps someone with a NZ university education.
Not only that, it’s just reciprocal to the other countries rules. Nothing anti Asian, until Key opened his racist mouth!
“Following on the hold-ups of NZ meat imports to China, I’d say there’s some powerful people in china hitting out at Key’s favouring of the US’s economic, security and political interests.”
You could add the free trade agreement with Taiwan to that. But they are right though.
Yep, I agree. Same as with all that meat piled up at the dock. China is sending a message, but at the same time they still need secure primary production sources. Also a wake-up call to us as to how dependant we want to be on Chinese markets.
Pay peanuts get monkeys. Low wages means pipes don’t get cleaned properly. Low wages while managers still get millions means low morale and loss of self-respect, and inevitably lead to mistakes. The visionary low wage Key economy is bad new for food exporters.
It’s not that simple. At Pike River the miners got quite high wages, through bonus payments for target outputs I imagine. This meant that they were prepared to cut corners and reduce safety drills or controls.
The wage is not the defining thing ensuring quality output. It is care and concern for the important and vulnerable parts of the system so they are monitored and checked
and ensuring that the person responsible is also monitored.
What would be good is that staff completing a successful season should get a bonus out of the profits. This would be fair and reasonable. I wonder how many companies in NZ do this?
The fact that if the miners lost the Pike River job , they would end up in either low wage tourist jobs, or on the miserly dole, probably did have an effect on their thinking.
Agreed. So would the idea that they wouldn’t be unsafe so would give in to a higher wage check, or potential bonuses, setting up those who don’t see the big picture with the risks and managers getting the lion share of the rewards (sharing the risk with workers which arguably allegedly led to not managing them).
Being your own lawyer is a fools pastime, essentially when former unionists were offered contracts they were essentially operating as their own lawyers – every day they were on the job, its just common sense that
reasonable people will get alternative perspectives. This is not to say the Pike River Miners somehow deserve criticism for their predicament, no, who sets themselves up to die choking and burning to death, no, the Pike River Miners were zombies like the managers and markets alike, the media has been pedelling neo-liberal solutions for decades. If there is anyone responsible for the market failures and cult of invincible contracting, its Rupert in my humble opinion. He may not be a neo-liberal but he certainly loved hiring them, and firing them if they didn’t perform.
How many of Fonterra’s jobs cuts and cost cutting over the last few years have been in the area of quality assurance?
+1. Good question for a journo to investigate. Wonder if any will?
This is a four to six week full time investigative journalism task.
Which editor is going to let a staffer do that?
I’ll get back to you on this when my investigation into that question is complete.
Fonterra has been in a constant state of rolling cuts for several years. Mostly office staff but it cannot be that hard to compare numbers of employees at various points over the past X years. Maybe I should pony up and do it.
Are you seriously suggesting numbers of staff is a proxy for safe systems? Well that’s automation destroyed in a puff of logic.
In a puff of neurotoxin rich sporing bacteria, more like
You should hae been spending 4-6 weeks looking Arfamo! Rod Oram or is ilk might. Fran O’Sullivan could if she thought it worth her while.
There is a letter from Barry Scott, a professor of molecular biology at Massey in the mornings DomPost
He asks it the layoffs from fontera research in microbiology over the past year would have any effect.
It is a very interesting question.
The thing about the Fonterra job cuts is they have been driven by two of the usual suspects – farmer greed (“…spend nothing on the peasants who process our milk, and give it all to meeeeeeeeeeee so I can farm for capital gain!”) and cost cutting to make privatisation by stealth easier.
Both farmers and the Fonterra leadership have made the classic mistake of laissez-faire neo-liberalism that we see over and over and over and over – it’s ideological inability to correctly align organisation and method.
China to NZ: don’t poison our babies. Is NZ 100% pure bullshit? http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/xinhua/2013-08-05/content_9769307.html
Actually nothing strange about China lecturing NZ.
It’s the rising already no 2 global power while NZ is a small declining South Pacific neo-colony.
When reading that China article you can see that they are really up with the play. Sitting over there with an observant and objective eye. They are not dozy, they have been through terrific political upheavals and fought and thought their way to something better than what they had.
They are much to be admired, though with that pinch of salt that Key talks about. Which needs to be applied to the key dish also, perhaps a teaspoon to balance the excessive oozing sweetness. I
had the vision of him as a TV chef in a new persona, what do you think – could be onto something there?
So given that they *don’t* have a laissez-faire free market economy, what’s to blame for China’s extensive atmospheric and ground water pollution, shoddy construction and melamine contamination of baby formula? Why, that would be the systemic bureaucratic corruption and face saving. Our human rights record is positively incandescent in comparison.
That is a shabby comparison though isn’t it pop. It is hardly as if all other thing are equal to allow such a simplicity is it. Eh?
Sure as hell is! – even if only on the basis of its population size.
Shabby is flagellating ourselves over the propaganda of an undemocratic self-interested state with a lousy human rights record.
The two big scandals currently facing us tell us a lot about our place in the world.
The US telling us as their client state that the price of their friendship in the new surveillance century is the GCSB bill, and the Chinese reaction to the Fonterra fuck up is reminding us that now they pay the piper, they can call the tune.
the fact that the results of the hypocrisy inherent in our foreign policy position is currently so cruelly on display is testament to the utter incompetence of John Key and Murray McCully, who have allowed their sycophantic fawning to the United States to trip us up on the delicate tightrope we walk as a country.
A bit less subservience in our dealing with the United States would have averted the GCSB controversy, and a bit more hands on control of industry standards would have prevented this Fonterra cock up.
Therefore both these current scandals are symptoms of wider fundamental failure in both our underlying economic ideology and the Key government’s handling of international relations.
+1. Well said, Sanctuary.
“A bit less subservience in our dealing with the United States would have averted the GCSB controversy, and a bit more hands on control of industry standards would have prevented this Fonterra cock up.”
Labour Caucus (not Members, because these are 2 very different things) need to take note!
On target comment there, Sanctuary.
And don’t forget the MOBY paperwork issues which stopped our red meat imports into China. Twice now.
So in other words if anyone should know its the Chinese-what’s our excuse?
Well this was interesting
Apparently Weekend Herald got a tip about the milk powder problem, and they hassled fonterra for info.
Fonterra finally relented about 12 midnight.
And the herald published.
So IF the herald had not chased then we still may not have known.
AND Fonterra were FORCED into releasing the info.
(Ellis on morning report)
Yes, Dv. I heard that. It was on Nine-to-Noon.
Yes 9 to noon!!
The ‘forced’ release could explain the scrambling that has occurred subsequently.
Just before Question Time Key issued a statement saying Fonterra notified the government of the contamination on Friday.
PS: The NZ Herald on this about an hour ago:
I’d be more than casually interested in Fonterra share trades during the Wednesday to Monday period…
Populuxe makes an interesting point however so does china.
I heard that and the first thing that came to mind was when did senior Nats know ? Last month I heard Steve Tew of the Rugby Union say that the union had a ” no surprises ” policy with Key. TEw said Key was well pleased one Sunday just before a bad poll was about to be published on TV when Tew had told him that a young AB had clouted someone and it would lead the news.
If Key has a deal like that ( and I’ll bet he has one ) with Fonterra and a drop the DAY after the GCSB drop would be perfect timing.
How long has Key known?
BTW, us being lectured by China on food safety, oh FFS, I reckon that if we properly tested all that shit that comes in from China, we wouldn’t even be feeding it to feral possums.
“Steve Tew of the Rugby Union say that the union had a ” no surprises ” policy with Key. TEw said Key was well pleased one Sunday just before a bad poll was about to be published on TV when Tew had told him that a young AB had clouted someone and it would lead the news.”
what the fuck?
what obligation does the nzru have to do this? And if as expected it has no such obligation then what the fuck is Tew doing?
what is the nzru sticking its nose up Key’s arsehole for?
“what is the nzru sticking its nose up Key’s arsehole for?”
Mates rates…..it’s worked for many other corporates.
You will struggle to find a bigger overly authoritative, narcissistic wanker than Steve Tew, he’s probably setting himself up for a National Party position post NZRU…he will fit right in like a glove. NZRU has a No Surprises policy with the NZ Govt…what the fucks that about?
” we properly tested all that shit that comes in from China, we wouldn’t even be feeding it to feral possums.” Yes, you are probably right – BUT they are asking shit prices for those products too. You have an expectation that you get what you pay for.
Fonterra products are sold at premium prices because they are assumed to be safe.
Assumption:- The Mother of all fuck ups.
A very sharp piece of journalism by someone in China (or maybe New Zealand?) who knows exactly what is happening in New Zealand politically.
Yes very to the point and right.
And yet they would something very nasty would probably happen to them if they tried to report on similar things in China. Basically a small but rather self obvious truth (that “100% pure” is as empty a slogan as “let a hundred flowers bloom” or any other crap slogan from China’s ruling party) is being used vastly out of proportion as a weapon against our country. Your willingness to wallow in propaganda from a totalitarian crapsack state simply because you can’t get past your anti-Key butthurt is pathetic. We know considerably more about “exactly what is happening in New Zealand politically” than anyone in China knows about what is happening behind closed doors in Beijing.
The point is not about the NZRFU ( it’s only a game, but handy for a diversion ) but how long has Key known about this Fonterra fuck-up?
He says since Friday. Fonterra knew last Wednesday.
When “managers” advocated floating Fonterra and farmers were first voting on partially floating Fonterra, I commented that it would be the beginning of the end of Fonterra as share price movements and financialisation, just like every other “run like a business” corporation, became more important than anything else.
And that it would all end in tears, for farmers and the rest of New Zealand.
I don’t know how much influence this had in hygiene systems, shedding more than 300 workers since the float cannot have helped, but I suspect management had their eye more on the bonanza from playing with share prices, than the efficiency of the company.
I thought that I would replace your use of the word “efficiency”, because the little MBA shits always think that producing the same output but with fewer people, and lower skilled people, is “efficient”.
Yep. I forget sometimes that “efficiency” to our greedy, bean counting corporate “leaders” means cost cutting so they get a bigger bonus, not! as it does to me, upskilling and building better capability.
I don’t know how much influence this had in hygiene systems, shedding more than 300 workers
Neither do I. But on the other I do know something about CIP cleaning systems. Given the sheer number of production systems Fonterra operates, and the scale of their complexity … this sort of thing will almost inevitably happen from time to time.
This was one pipe, in one plant, on one production batch. So far no-one has died, or even shown to have become ill.
No-one tests for every possible contaminant, it would be physically and economically impossible. What Fonterra does is pretty comprehensively test for a wide range of reasonably expected bugs … and this particular one is pretty rare and highly unexpected. It’s never been found in any milk production before that I’m aware of.
Fonterra has been beaten up on the one hand for not releasing information as soon as it knew there might be a problem …while at the same time being beaten up for not releasing full and complete information that was always going to take some time to compile and verify.
Life was made more difficult when one of their customers has an IT systems problem that forced them to manually track some of the product. So far they are pretty sure they have at least 90% of the batch safely recalled. The remainder will likely be dealt with soon. Fonterra has evidently done it’s best to be transparent about the issue.
Will there be important lessons to be learnt from this debacle… yes. Do the Fonterra’s directors and senior managers need to examine long and hard about how they have been running the company lately … yes. Do the Chinese have something of a point … yes.
But frankly the rest of the outrage stinks of something other than a legitimate food safety issue.
No-one tests for every possible contaminant, it would be physically and economically impossible.
There was quite a long discussion on Radionz about 5pm with I think Dr Sally Stiles about this bug and the many botulism ones. The hospital nearby does tests every week on milk she said. But there are lots of different botulism bugs. Weka has been pointing this out for a while.
But the main fault is that there was a lack of fronting up by Fonterra. Another commenter said that if they had done so, there would have been shock but also gratitude and respect that they had been so forthright and honest. Instead they have caused their customers to lose money and lose trust. Badly handled is the verdict.
I was struck at how one commentator beat them up for not announcing the problem as soon as they had a suspicion of a problem … and then how the was next earnestly advising Fonterrra to ensure they had full, detailed and complete information before they let the public know.
A classic damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Controlled confidential early disclosure to senior stakeholders is how you manage the problem. A kind of “there may be a problem, we believe that it is minor, this is what we are doing to isolate the details, done to this timeline” talk.
This descriptive term ‘festering sore’ is a funny one I reckon. It is not a term I would expect – anyone got any ideas about that?
v. fes·tered, fes·ter·ing, fes·ters
1. To generate pus; suppurate.
2. To form an ulcer.
3. To undergo decay; rot.
a. To be or become an increasing source of irritation or poisoning; rankle: bitterness that festered and grew.
b. To be subject to or exist in a condition of decline: allowed the once beautiful park to fester.
To infect, inflame, or corrupt.
A small festering sore or ulcer; a pustule.
It sounds like they are pretty fucked off, like there is a bit of heat around this.
Take a look at New Zealand’s rivers which are starting to look a lot like America’s great lakes and you will find its a very apt description.
Not sure I’d call it apt and this was the Chinese using the term to describe the 100% stuff, the whole positioning of the country from a marketing point of view. As I said there seems to be heat in that description beyond calling out bullshit.
A very clear view on the Fonterra scare and the Chinese viewpoint was on Radionz this afternoon. ‘Botulism battering gets worse’. http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint
David Mahon had some clear and informed stuff.
Well, there is another issue currently going on which ties into the same Fonterra issues
It’s been big news in Wellington regarding the Malvina Major rest home , and how a residents daughter has found her mother uncared for, covered in her own faeces, and not just once, and the daughter has hit the papers with the story and now the rest home is in major damage control
It just shows how these big corporates can really take their eye off the ball, and the huge pay disparity in these organisations just spells trouble
The government and MSM seem to harp on about the public service, but really, when is big corp going to lift it’s game??
When they are compelled to is the simple answer and there is NO CHANCE the neo-lib Keys government is going to make them.
Ah yes neo-liberalism in action, what a disaster it has been for New Zealand and its people. We can thanks all the right wing pricks who crowed incessantly about its virtues for the mess we are in.
We own a beach property, a holiday get away in the Horowhenua and I can say the river is no less disgusting and polluted than a river I came across in Malaysia. Its so revolting in fact wildlife are starting to wash up dead-eels, birds, etc. It stinks too. That’s mostly down to run off from farms that the useless prick Keys doesn’t want to regulate because it might upset the farmers and no doubt the likes of Fonterra.
This thing is bigger than corporate faults in general. It’s about our main national income earner which provides money to pay for elderly people to be looked after, badly or well.
It’s whether we keep our international customers and whether the country can do anything well and profitably for more than a few years before stuffing up. Because otherwise most of us will be in poverty.
Its a failure of government and more than that a failure of philosophy. Its assuming profits are not linked to environmentally sustainable business practices and tough consistent regulation.
Look at Blip’s comprehensive comment on the environment and Key’s ‘love’ for it.
The Fonterra model sounds remarkably similar to Labour’s power purchasing authority they want to set up. Except, at least with Fonterra, consumers have a choice to go elsewhere.
You miss the subtlety here. Originally, and rather uniquely, the dairy industry flourished as a farmer held co-operative. Fonterra was merely the logical end-point of a series of industry mergers that occurred during the 80’s and 90’s as a result automation technology transforming production economics.
The problems have arisen in just the last few years when they started to move away from this very successful model towards a neo-liberal privatised, share-trading corporate model.
I think the problem is the layer of bureaucracy that separates the producing factories from the end users. If each of the producing factories were marketing directly to the consumer, they would have much stronger incentive for quality control, and the effect of a quality lapse by one wouldn’t have such a dramatic effect.
In this way, the Fonterra model is indeed very similar to Labour’s proposal. Except that the consumer will have no other option to deal with the power authority, no matter how shit the service is.
Hey wake up, the Chinese want more controls and tougher systems, not the failing free market bullshit you are espousing.
For a free market capitalist maybe you should try listening to your major customers for once.
Uuum I thought the Chinese were moving towards a capitalist style economy.
Are you the kind of market oriented capitalist who believes in listening to major customers or not?
Actually, they’ve moved on from that.
Yep – straight to fascist
Perhaps they should start with their own
The consumer won’t be dealing with the power authority. NZPower will be buying off the producers and selling to retailers. The consumer will be dealing with the retailers.
The equivalence is also there between Fonterra and NZ Power, though. Because Fonterra often doesn’t deal directly with end users either, but often is supplying products to other manufacturers.
In the case of NZ Power, if NZ Power screws the retailers, then that “screwing” will get passed on to the end users. The retailers can’t go anywhere else to get a better product to onsell.
They are both piss poor options. Don’t think for a moment I don’t hold Labour responsible for this fiasco as well. Makes my blood boil as our 4 year old likes to feed the ducks and asks me about the nasty smell. Fucking stinking Keys and yes Labour too. Both merchants of shit who are ruining our once lovely country….
The China Daily News
“One could argue that the country is hostage to a blinkered devotion to laissez-faire market ideology. Many New Zealanders fell victim to this when the construction industry was deregulated two decades ago resulting in damp leaky homes that quickly became uninhabitable.”
Pity you can’t read such commonsense in the NZ media.
Agreed Paul. But then look at what a bunch of right wing, brown nosing sell outs most of the press in this country have become.
Others can also see the folly of the free market / self-regulation / neoliberal / rogernomics / privatisation model.
What this editorial has done is highlight the fools in our newspapers and media. Can you imagine them stating what the China Daily News stated there?
This is the biggest slap across the face that John Key has had. Betcha his cheek is stinging now, grimacing, all the while simmering “…nup, don’t lose any sleep over it ….. why wouldja?…” This would seem to be very very bad for Key…
… and what about the tourism industry which has been systematically trashed by Key and his stupid idiot trading-desk redneck banter ….. “…nah that’s just one scientists opinion, I can go and get another one …..”
What a fucking dickhead
I’m quite keen to see the Minister of Tourism asked questions about the 100% Pure Brand and the concessions around entry visas for tourists with lots of air miles.
Why are you praising a fascist state?
I’m fascinated with all the MSM references to the Chinese COMMUNIST Party news media, Chinese COMMUNIST Government, etc. today.
They’ve not referred to China in that way for decades…
Their owners told them to write that.
and why was Russell Norman referring to it as well?
Dunnnnno…might still be feeling bruised by those Chinese Government bodyguards…
The striking thing to me about these recent events is the utter childishness of our so-called leaders. John Key, in the face of serious matters, is more like a kid that’s been allowed to stay up late than a national leader. He desperately needs to be called to account, for his own good and everyone else’s. Thank God for the Greens, for Winston, for Hone, for the law society, the Human Rights Commission and the Chinese newspaper. As to Labour, after a litany of disasters, and after a visit from our ex Prime Minister, can you not see what it actually means to be respected as a safe pair of hands? I’ll give you a clue. It does not mean trying to accommodate yourself to a degraded status quo, while assuming that the people looking to you for something better will not notice.
I watched Winston at question time today for a few minutes. Haven’t watched QT before. IIRC it was a Labour question to him. He seemed to mumble a bit and slur a few words. Is that his usual style?
I have not seen question time today, but generally speaking he is direct, and able to put up a challenge. Labour, on the other hand, hardly ever make an utterance that does not contain an equivocation. When they have decided they need to be more passionate, they tend to shout their equivocations. But I have to say, I really do care about Labour, and I want to feel able to vote labour next election, as I have always done. I want to be convinced by them, but I am not.
Nah, sadly Winston is way past His best, the years of ‘good’ living are starting to take their toll and recovering from the ‘sessions’ will be becoming all that much harder,
i commented a while back on whether or not He can go another 3 after this one and i have my doubts,
NZFirst hasn’t got anyone in it’s ranks with the Mana to keep it in the Parliament after Winston so i would think that once He has gone the ‘political air’ will become that much more clear…
Winnie can certainly go another 3 but it is likely to be his twilight term. The Winston Peters Party is history when he goes.
Slippery the Prime Minister on the TV news tonight, ”he doesn’t see the need for regulation of Fonterra”,
i am sure the little Shyster doesn’t, but, the question has to be asked ”does He see the need to keep our Chinese buyers happy”,
That seems a pretty simple equation even for a blunt knife like him…