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Westland Dairy sale

Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, March 20th, 2019 - 30 comments
Categories: Economy, farming, nz first, overseas investment, Shane Jones, winston peters - Tags:

Westland Dairy has done a deal to sell out to Yili industrial Group of Mongolia. 

Westland Milk Products is currently owned by 429 farmer-shareholders, and properly named the Westland Co-Operative Dairy Company Ltd. This is our third largest independent dairy company in New Zealand.

It is by a long, long way the most important business in Hokitika, and most important single business on the West Coast of the South Island. 

It processes approximately 3% of the country’s total milk production. 

There’s a quick history of Westland Dairy here … and with photographs here.

New Zealand’s west coaster dairy farmers built and grew local dairy farms and local ownership of their dairy processor and exporter for 150 long years, which they celebrate this year. 

It was one of the very last to hold out and assert their proud and very hard-won independence through all the industry restructures, all the mergers, all the stupidity over decades. 

In November 2018 this government lent Westland Milk Products $10 million. At the time of the loan, the Chief Executive Toni Brendish said that Westland needed to reduce its dependency on bulk dairy commodities.

In November 2018 this government lent Westland Milk Products $10 million. At the time of the loan, the Chief Executive Toni Brendish said that Westland needed to reduce its dependency on bulk dairy commodities.

We’ll do this by expanding our capacity to produce high value products, differentiated by the special qualities of the milk used to make them. This will include A2 milk and our new Ten Star premium standard milk.”

What Westland has done instead is increase this country’s dependency on foreign ownership. 

It truly pisses me off to see my taxpayer money propping up the balance sheet of the largest business on the west coast, to make it attractive for sale to foreigners.

Could Shane Jones and his officials not have had the nous to work with them on their real capital problems instead of offering Vodka to an alcoholic (ie short term capital to a long term capital deficit)?

I have nothing against Yili Industries of Mongolia. I have no idea who they are.  I am objecting in principle to the company choosing to go to foreign capital rather than a local source. 

I am objecting to Shane Jones being stupid with our taxpayer money.  I am objecting to the wilful gutting of local profit away from local owners of local farms to foreigners, whoever they are.

I am waiting for Shane Jones’ fund to show that New Zealand is an economically stronger place for the investment of our dollars into it, specifically from this loan.

Of course there is still a shareholder vote to go, and Overseas Investment Commission approval as well.

It would be great to see Winston Peters come out against it as strongly as he did against the sale of Silver Fern Farms in 2017 when they were in opposition. 

Or indeed anyone.

30 comments on “Westland Dairy sale ”

  1. Stuart Munro. 1

    Another altright incursion, targeting our cultural treasures: Snowflake icecream – the best vanilla in the country 🙁

  2. Barfly 2

    well this will contribute more to new zealand’s biggest export – profits from overseas owned companies 🙁

  3. greywarshark 3

    It was a co-operative – sacrificed that because selling to overseas high bidder would provide more capital. Perhaps they can do farm exchanges and show China how clever clogs can do it. The west coast developed a neat literal ground-breaker to better pasture. Are farmers clever enough to run NZ? When given unfettered power – give them an inch and they will take a mile. Pity there is no-one who has strategic vision in NZ.


  4. Sabine 4

    well its a nice name, certainly better then state owned Compan of Dairy industry in China.

    Westland Dairy sale

    Yili Group (Chinese: 伊利集团, p Yīlì Jítuán; full name: Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Company Limited) is a state-owned company of dairy industry in China. It is engaged in processing and manufacturing of milk products, including ice cream, milk tea powder, sterilized milk and fresh milk under “Yili” brand, powdered milk under “Pro-Kido” brand, and organic milk under “Satine” brand. It is headquartered in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia.[2][3] Its main competitor in China is Mengniu. In 2018, it is the world’s 3rd best-performing food brands.[4]

    Its head office is in the Jinchun Development Zone (金山开发区) in Hohhot.[5][6]

    The company was an official sponsor of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    i would be very happy for this sale to not go through. It also appears that the Chinese Government via its state owned assetts is busy buying up a lot of other dairy related companies elsewhere.

    Maybe the government can nationalist this company here and call it Inner NZ Dairy company a wholly owned by NZ lest we all end up paying rent to China one day.

    • Sabine 4.1

      i have no idea why this picture is in my post? odd.

    • greywarshark 4.2

      Interesting that Beijing was hosting an Olympics in 2008.
      While the USA was overseeing the GFC that year.
      Quite a juxtaposition.

      The Chinese are becoming embedded in NZ. Perhaps they are going to turn up in our comments just to let us know that they know where we live and think.

      • Sabine 4.2.1

        they can turn up in our comments as much as htey like. seriously are we gonna spend the rest of our lifes afraid of totalitarian regimes?

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    What will our racist Deputy Prime Minister have to say about this?

    • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1

      Do you have anything to say about the proposed sale? I’m agin it.

    • Grunter 5.2

      Absolutely nothing. He’s too busy being quiet about all the Islamophobia he’s spouted in the last years.

  6. tc 6

    Shane Jones belongs in the national party with all the other pro corporate welfare brigade.

    He is arrogance personified.

    • alwyn 6.1

      “He is arrogance personified”
      That of course is the reason National refused to agree to Winston and his acolyte Shane being given $3,000,000,000.00 to finance their slush fund. Yes that really is the right number of zeroes.
      I don’t think NZF would ever have gone into Government with National of course. English and Joyce would never have allowed themselves to get into the position that an inexperienced and ill prepared Labour Party were. Labour were willing to give Winston anything at all that he asked for simply so that they could get their bums in the back of the beemers. Now it is New Zealand which suffers.

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        We are really being unfair to Shane when we pin all the blame on him.

        The loan is just under $10 million and at that level it would have to have been approved by Grant Robertson ans David Parker. What possessed them to agree?
        Who appointed those obvious “babes in the woods” to positions where they have control of an enormous taxpayer funded credit card?
        Surely someone is going to take responsibility for their appointment to jobs they are patently incapable of managing. Who did it?

        The loan was also carefully set at just under $10 million. At $10 million it has to go to Cabinet. Perhaps someone there might have asked questions. Alternatively of course the other Cabinet Ministers wanted to be able to deny any knowledge of the deal when the shit hit the fan.

        • Dukeofurl

          Well clearly they now wont get the money as their capital sheet problems are solved.

          The decisions by ministers are ‘approval in principal’ and there would be a lot of hoops to run through, and if its was for a special processing plant change , would only be for those specific invoices as they came in.
          And bank would work the same way if they were avoiding a general working capital top up.

        • Dukeofurl

          No fact checking today allwrong

          ‘Cabinet has oversight of the Provincial Growth Fund, and makes decisions about investments of $20 million or more.’ kaching
          Who was the babe swaddled in ignorance?-‘The loan was also carefully set at just under $10 million’

          ‘The Independent Advisory Panel (IAP) provides independent advice to Ministers about Provincial Growth Fund investment proposals.
          Panel members have skills in commercial, industry, public policy, and sector-specific knowledge where relevant. They give feedback on applications for large sector projects, lend their commercial expertise to help assess business cases, and offer advice on the overall investment portfolio.’ kaching

          • alwyn

            My information was clearly out of date.
            I wonder when it was changed?

            The numbers I remember were from when it was set up. From a Cabinet Paper.
            “In December 2017, Cabinet agreed to a set of delegations for the Fund that effectively set up three bands – Senior Regional Officials (for up to $1 million), delegated Ministers (between $1 and $10 million) and Cabinet (over $10 million).”

            That was in February 2018. I’ve never personally had anything to do with them, and if I was a politician I would keep a long, long way away from the slippery Mr Jones.
            I can only assume that Shane had much greater dreams and got the limits raised to match his grandiose dreams..
            Your figures still show that Grant and David went along with the Pooh-Bah from New Zealand First though.

            • alwyn

              I read a bit further into the limit setting.
              When the program was first proposed Shane, and his party, wanted a limit of $20 million before it had to go to Cabinet.
              Treasury, and the Labour Party, dug their heels in and insisted on $10 million.
              The fact that it shortly afterward went back to $20 million illustrates, very clearly, how Tsar Winston rules the roost. As the song in the old musical “Damn Yankees” goes.
              “Whatever Winston, wants Winston gets”
              Labour jumped to attention and gave him whatever he required.
              Why am I not surprised?

  7. Blazer 7

    Comment from a knowledgable sharetrader…

    ‘ the Americans came to NZ, bought Telecom (with the ‘help’ of Fay Richwhite etc) and proceeded to extract billions of dollars out of New Zealanders and leaving behind a buggered up Telco., one which could not even deliver UFB without government intervention.

    Korea rolled out its UFB in 2004. Guess when Telecom was going to roll out UFB in NZ if Helen Clark did not intervene?

    Did I read a lot of outcry about the Americans buying Telecom?

    Yup – exactly like how the Australians came over and bought up all our banks and then, proceeded to extract billions of dollars each year out of NZ and control the NZ economy.

    Did I read a lot of outcry over the Australians?

    Shall we talk about forestry and who really owns the forests planted decades ago through the sweat, tears and toil of New Zealanders?

    Did I read a lot of outcry about how we now export logs and jobs overseas?

  8. BNZ was one big ripoff how do you fuck a 150 year old bank in 2 years ?

    Ask Roger Douglas ?

    • alwyn 8.1

      The BNZ was a bank where the staff were basically civil servants from the days when the state owned it who all had delusions that they were “masters of the universe”.
      They would loan to anyone. They were the precursor of the elderly gentleman who tried the same thing when running SCF.
      Roger Douglas didn’t do it. They managed it all on their own.

  9. Rae 9

    If our important industries are to be government owned could they not, at least, be our own government?

  10. Dukeofurl 10

    “In November 2018 this government lent Westland Milk Products $10 million”

    It was aqn agreement to progress the building of some industrial process. I doubt the money has been transferred , as the officials work through the paperwork and Westland organised its food processing engineers to design and get a contractor to build it.

  11. cleangreen 11

    Some want to sell the whole country don’t they?

    Are we good patrons for our children’s future?

    I don’t think so; – as we are just sellouts when we agree to this.

  12. Ian 12

    The government allows the sale of a cooperative dairy company to Chinese interests for just under $600 million,a couple of hotels for over $100 million but I can’t sell them my townhouse in the city or my dairy farm for a comparative pittance. What’s going on folks?

  13. Pat 13

    One would hope that the 10 million is repaid upon sale with interest at market rate….and if it isnt then serious questions need to be asked

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