Xmas cheer from Fonterra as the bosses at the dairy co-op get back to basics

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 poll slide: let’s see if Jacindamania (and a tax cut?) can compensate for Cabinet’s incompetents

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”

Going on the front foot – the lessons Black Caps could learn from businessman who chairs Cricket NZ

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”

Yep, farm prices are booming and the outlook is bright – but cockies might quibble with O’Connor about the causes

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”

US approves sale of  Hercules for RNZAF

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

The PM dances on a pin about funding furore – but she can’t waltz away from the question of her govt’s integrity

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”

A2 Milk’s sales prospects are looking good as the company builds its markets in China and US

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”