Testing times for NZ’s dairy industry: Can its leaders find the right formula?

Dairy giant Fonterra has taken a hammering in the media in the wake of its disclosure it expects to report a full-year loss of as much as $675m and won’t pay a dividend as it slashes the value of global assets. It will be the second annual loss in a row.

Investment guru Brian Gaynor in the NZ Herald argued Fonterra’s farmers have drained the co-op almost dry in terms of milk prices and dividends and have left it in an extremely vulnerable position. Earlier another Herald columnist, Matthew Hooton, contended NZ has put all its milk in one pail – in a company with inadequate governance and capital to match its aspirations.

Continue reading “Testing times for NZ’s dairy industry: Can its leaders find the right formula?”

Supreme Court gets a Maori judge – and Landcorp (more quietly) gets a new director

Attorney-General David Parker – probably  to the acclaim  of  some of his colleagues – last week, announced the appointment of Justice Joseph Victor Williams to  the Supreme Court. Justice Williams, whose tribal affiliations are Ngāti Pūkenga and Te Arawa (Waitaha, Tapuika),  is the first  Maori  to be named to  the bench of  NZ’s  highest court.

An appointment to the Supreme Court was required after current Supreme Court judge Justice Sir William Young was named to chair the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the attack on the Christchurch mosques on  March 15.

Justice Williams graduated with an LLB from Victoria University in 1986 and joined the faculty as a junior lecturer in law.

He graduated with an LLM (Hons) from the University of British Columbia in 1988. That year he joined Kensington Swan, establishing the first unit specialising in Māori issues in a major NZ law firm and developing a large environmental practice. Continue reading “Supreme Court gets a Maori judge – and Landcorp (more quietly) gets a new director”

Branding has its place – but it’s helpful to know a Govt agency’s purpose

The headline on a press statement from the Government refers to the launch of a “new forestry scholarship”. This no doubt recognises that most of those who read it prefer to communicate in English,

The first sentence of the statement similarly says a new forestry scholarship has been launched at National Fieldays today by Forestry Ministers Shane Jones and Meka Whaitiri.

The new scholarship aims to grow the capability of the forestry sector and increase the number of women and Māori in the industry.

Then the statement adopts a practice that has the effect of obscuring what a department or programme actually does in favour of “branding” by giving it a Maori name:

Continue reading “Branding has its place – but it’s helpful to know a Govt agency’s purpose”