How many others feel that way?

24/04/2014

Shane Jones said he would have refused to work with the Greens in government:

Mr Jones has gone blue – National Party blue, off to work for the Government, revealing his hatred for Labour’s Green allies is so deep that he could never have worked in a Labour-Green coalition government, which would likely have co-leader Russel Norman as deputy Prime Minister.
“I would not have been able to work under Russel Norman as Deputy Prime Minister,” he says.
“I’m totally disinterested in a political career where there may have been a dim prospect that he would be my chief. It would be a long day in hell before that happens.” . . .
How many others in the Labour caucus feel that way and who could blame them? But the weaker Labour is the more bargaining power the Greens will have.

Mr Jones says going Green is wrecking Labour.

“I’ve never ever subscribed to the notion that the only way Labour would be strong is by ‘greening’ itself, so we are some sort of version of the Tasmanian Green Party. I never agreed with that.”

Back to Jones.

Mr Jones says Labour would never elect him leader, that Labour has gone too left and left him.

“The test over whether brand Labour is a broad church will rest in the breath of the September vote. Lose no sleep over doubting whether that is the truth.”

So it’s goodbye to the man they call Jonesy and haere ra to Mr Jones. He crusies off into the Pacific, but his parting shot could not be clearer.

The once broad church that housed people like him is becoming so increasingly narrow that it risks being punished in the polls.

It is still a long time until election day in which time a lot could change.
But once more the media is focussing on disarray within Labour which will not endear it to voters.

$10.3m loss for NPDC Tasmanian farms

04/10/2013

New Plymouth District Council’s investment in dairying farming in Tasmania has been a costly one with Tasman Farms reporting a $10.3 million loss.

That loss has clipped a further $5m off New Plymouth District Council’s perpetual investment fund (Pif) in the last financial year and contributed to a $3.9m deficit for the council.  . .

The fund, managed by Taranaki Investment Management Limited (Timl), was created from the sale of the NPDC’s Powerco shares in 2004 for $259m. It peaked in value at $324m in 2008 but is now only worth $212.4m, partly because of money the council has taken out in annual release payments.

Timl has conceded the fund is overweighted in Tasman Farms and has commenced the process to reduce its exposure. . .

We visited the farms at Woolnorth in North West Tasmania last month. They’re owned by the Van Diemen’s Land Company in which Tasman Farms is a major shareholder.

Woolnorth covers 16,800 hectares with 12 rotary and one herringbone dairy shed. Fiver are operated by sharemilkers and eight by managers. A 2,500 hectare heifer raising operation on the property manages 10,000 heifers.

It was an impressive operation but several of us wondered about the wisdom of it as an investment for a district council.

There was a very strong rumour while we were there that Fonterra was interested in buying the farms but the company says it’s not.

 New Plymouth-owned Tasman Farms, Van Diemen’s Land Co’s parent, wants to raise up to $A180 million, with at least $A100 million in fresh equity, and has attracted a potential suitor from China but won’t see Fonterra at the negotiating table.

The New Zealand dairy exporter, which reports its annual results today, will not invest in the Tasmanian farm upgrade, which has reportedly attracted interest from China Investment Corp, the $US200 billion sovereign wealth fund.

“Fonterra has a very strong relationship with VDL as their processing partner but our investment interests in Tasmania are focused on our factories at Spreyton and Wynyard, rather than farms,” a Fonterra spokeswoman says. “We are supportive of any suppliers who are looking to grow and develop their operations.” . . .

Tasmania is often compared to New Zealand. We saw a lot of similarities, and a lot of Kiwi staff and technology on the farms.

Farming is usually a good long-term investment but it takes a lot of capital with small or no returns in the short to medium term, especially if a large-scale development is planned which is what VDL is doing.

NPDC has learned this and if I was a ratepayer I’d be backing the sale.


Fonterra payout up in Australia

08/11/2009

Fonterra announced an increase of 13 cents a kilo of milk solids  for suppliers in Victoria and Tasmania for the 09/10 season on Friday.

The company’s national milk service’s manager Heather Stacy said:

“This increase means that from next week our more than 1,300 suppliers in Victoria and Tasmania will start to receive an additional $15 million in their pockets,” said Ms Stacy.

“We recognise it has been a tough season for dairy farmers. We have been monitoring market conditions closely in order to pass through an improvement in prices as soon as it is responsible to do so.

“In this week’s Fonterra globalDairyTrade, prices for whole milk powder rose for the fourth consecutive month, reinforcing the positive signs of recovery in commodity markets after a year of unprecedented volatility,” said Ms Stacy.

“This has meant we are now in a position to pass on an increase in milk prices to our suppliers.

“We remain determined to reflect any further significant improvement in market conditions in our price later this season. In this regard, the strength of the Australian dollar is a major limitation on the opportunity for farmers to benefit further from improved commodity prices,” said Ms Stacy.

Fonterra has said it will make an announcement about the season’s payout for New Zealand suppliers this week.

That happens if there is to be a change of more than 30 cents and it is a fair bet any change is likely to be positive.


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