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Loss Of NZDB's Larsen Bad Sign For Dairy Industry

28 July 2000 PR82/2000

LOSS OF NZDB'S LARSEN BAD SIGN FOR DAIRY INDUSTRY

"The announced departure form the New Zealand Dairy Board of Chief Executive Warren Larsen will be of great concern to dairy farmers. Farmers have greatly respected Mr Larsen's leadership of their industry and his role he played in enhancing their livelihoods," said DFNZ Chairman Charlie Pedersen.

"Mr Larsen has been an immensely popular Chief Executive of the NZDB, and his departure is most untimely."

New Zealand Dairy Board Chief Executive Warren Larsen's resignation was apparently leaked this week.

"The ham-fisted handling of this announcement is a small glimpse of the balls up some elected industry leaders are making of New Zealand's flagship export industry," Mr Pedersen added.

"Those industry leaders have failed to achieve MergeCo and the $300m it would add to dairy farmers' incomes, and they have also dismally failed to pursue an apparently available extension to the 1 September deadline for the Dairy Amendment Bill.

"Furthermore, many of the leaders have continually failed to identify or pursue any equivalent alternatives, although often alluding to their existence."

"I just wish our elected leaders would grasp the opportunities that the Labour and National Governments have provided."

"Instead, they continue to embarrass dairy farmers by concentrating on dividing the industry 'pie', rather than building a vehicle to deliver the industry's strategy," concluded Mr Pedersen.

ENDS For further information: Charlie Pedersen 025-463-480 Kevin Petersen 04-473-7269 (wk)

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