Dairy farmers had some Xmas cheer this week, as dairy giant Fonterra told them the forecast payout would be the fourth-highest-ever, at the mid-point of its farmgate milk price range.
The $7.30kg/ms means the cash payout for the season will reach $11.2bn, a rise of about $400m from the earlier forecast.
There could even be a clap from the cowsheds for the new bosses of Fonterra who are turning around the co-op’s financial performance, as they apply a back-to-basics approach to recovering from last year’s horrendous $605m loss. The first quarter of the new financial year has gone well. Continue reading “Xmas cheer from Fonterra as the bosses at the dairy co-op get back to basics”
Labour’s rating with voters has dropped to its lowest in two years, according to the latest Colmar Brunton poll. This has provoked a flurry of action by ministers, with a $400m new spend on schools and promises of big infrastructure projects to be announced in the half-year fiscal update.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson is sticking to his mantra that the economy continues to grow at faster rates than the countries it compares itself with, notably Aust, the UK and the US—even though the Treasury says overall NZ GDP growth is likely to fall below Budget forecasts.
Two per cent GDP growth is hardly likely to create any surge of enthusiasm, especially if it keeps trending down. For the man and woman in the street, cost of living inflation is eroding the impact of any recent wage increases.
As for the politics, the government’s claim for its performance in what was to be the “year of delivery” echoes hollowly. Continue reading “Labour’s poll slide: let’s see if Jacindamania (and a tax cut?) can compensate for Cabinet’s incompetents”
Greg Barclay is a popular figure on NZ cricket grounds. As chairman of NZ Cricket, he has seen the Black Caps march up to Number 2 in world rankings.
On his watch the team came achingly close to winning the World Cup and in the last week the Black Caps trounced the touring English team at the Bay Oval.
Whether they can win the test series is now the issue as the second test begins in Hamilton.
Barclay is a man of many talents, as one might expect. In between the cricket tests, he has presided over the kind of breathtaking performance by a company on the NZX which Black Caps captain Kane Williamson would be happy to replicate on the field. Continue reading “Going on the front foot – the lessons Black Caps could learn from businessman who chairs Cricket NZ”
Farmers are riding a boom with the latest ASB index for primary sector exports surpassing its 2011 level. Lamb prices cracked the $9/kg mark and beef prices are at, or close to, record levels. There is the prospect too that Fonterra’s payout could reach $7.50kg/MS, one of its best ever.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has not been slow to put his government in line for the credit in reaching these high levels—or to argue a Labour-led government is better for farmers than National.
At least that was the implication in an answer he gave in Parliament last week.
“So farmers and growers are getting better prices for their work under this government than the last National one”.
O’Connor is one of the more effective ministers in the Ardern Cabinet but he might have been stretching it a bit in implying the high prices are due to the government.
When Labour’s Kiritapu Allan asked him what action the government is taking to help this sector, he responded: Continue reading “Yep, farm prices are booming and the outlook is bright – but cockies might quibble with O’Connor about the causes”
The US State Department has approved a Foreign Military Sale to New Zealand of five C-130J Hercules aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $US1.4 billion.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has delivered the required certification notifying Congress. Significantly, the US has described NZ as a “major ally”.
New Zealand has asked for five aircraft, 24 Rolls Royce AE-2100D3 turboprop engines (20 installed, 4 spares) along with navigation and electronic systems, personnel training and training equipment, US Govt and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support.
The US says this will support its foreign policy and national security by helping to improve the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability, and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region.
The proposed sale will improve New Zealand’s capability to meet current and future threats by enhancing its current airlift capability.
This proposed sale will provide the capability to support national, United Nations, and other coalition operations. This purchase also includes sensors and performance improvements that will assist NZ during extensive maritime surveillance and reconnaissance as well as improve its search and rescue capability.
For good measure, the extra cargo capacity and aircraft performance will greatly increase New Zealand’s Antarctic mission capabilities while simultaneously increasing safety margins.
The RNZAF currently flies five 50-year-old C-l30H aircraft and will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and support into its armed forces according to the State Department. The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin, Ft Worth, Texas
Are ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s coalition beginning to live in a dreamworld of their own, distant from the one where ordinary New Zealanders live?
In Parliament, in answer to patsy questions from their own backbenchers, they congratulate themselves on their extraordinary ( as it seems to them) achievements. They appear supremely unconscious of or oblivious to the world most New Zealanders inhabit. And this week they were doing their best to ignore the raging furnace torching NZ First.
It’s possible they were yawning because they had heard it all before.
But other NZers found the allegations of financial shenanigans inside the structure of NZ First disturbing.
Stuff reports the NZ First Foundation received 26 donations of $325,900 in just a five month period, adding:
“Donors to the foundation include food manufacturers, racing interests, forestry owners and wealthy property developers.” Continue reading “The PM dances on a pin about funding furore – but she can’t waltz away from the question of her govt’s integrity”
Fonterra’s farmer shareholders might have been stung by pangs of envy as they looked into the next paddock, and discovered how another company in the same industry is racking up huge revenue gains from the same markets in which their co-op is competing.
But A2 Milk, a company founded in 2000 by Dr Corrie McLaughlan and Howard Paterson, is not just another outfit selling milk products. The company’s founders had the aim of doing good for health globally.
That gives it the vital point of difference which has ensured its market capitalisation is close to being the highest on the NZX.
As its CEO Jane Hrdlicka told the annual meeting in Auckland this week, the company has changed a lot over the last two decades and is engaged now on the next phase of its evolution.
“In FY19, we kicked off a journey to step up the role we play as a unique,premium and modern dairy nutritional company. This has led us to clarity on how much potential we have remaining in our core business in the two largest consumer markets in the world – Greater China and the US”. Continue reading “A2 Milk’s sales prospects are looking good as the company builds its markets in China and US”