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ENZA chairman’s resignation a ‘positive step’


Media statement August 10, 2001

For immediate release

ENZA chairman’s resignation a ‘positive step’


The decision by ENZA Chairman Tony Gibbs to stand aside will be regarded by apple growers in New Zealand as a positive step towards finally achieving a resolution of the dispute over forex costs, PGNZI Chairman Phil Alison said today.

“We note that Mr Gibbs says he wants the dispute settled before he steps down as Chairman. We welcome his expression of confidence that the dispute will be settled shortly,” he said.

“For our part, we’re on record as saying there are issues still to be resolved, but we’ll be doing our best to achieve a settlement.

“It’s fair to say we’ve had our differences with Mr Gibbs since he became Chairman of ENZA. On the positive side, we always knew where he was coming from. However we would be less than honest if we didn’t say that at times we have found him an uncompromising individual to negotiate with.

“We look forward to working with Mr Gibbs’s successor,” Mr Alison said.

Ends

Issued by PGNZI

Phil Alison
Chairman
025 440-347


Questions and Answers

My recommendation is that Phil stick pretty much to what’s in the media release and not be tempted to go beyond it. That would mean replying to questions with: “I’m sorry, I’ve said all I want to in the statement. Our focus now is on the negotiations. I’d prefer to reserve any further comment until we see how the negotiations progress.”

If he does want to be more expansive, here are some possible answers to questions likely to be asked:

Are you saying that a settlement is impossible while Mr Gibbs is Chairman of ENZA?

No I’m not saying that. I’ve said that we welcome his confidence that the dispute will be settled shortly. We’ll work to resolve the outstanding issues that still exist so that we can have a settlement.

Alternative

No, I’m not saying that. I’m simply saying that from our point of view, Mr Gibbs’s approach hasn’t helped advance the negotiations. He’s said he wants the dispute settled before he stands aside. If we can overcome the outstanding issues that still exist, there will be a settlement in the timeframe he wants.

If Mr Gibbs had not stood aside, do you think a settlement would have been impossible?

That’s a hypothetical question. The fact is, he has chosen to resign as Chairman.

Are you pleased that Mr Gibbs has resigned as Chairman?

We are neither pleased nor displeased. Our focus is on achieving a settlement. In that respect we see his resignation as a positive step.

When do you think a settlement can be reached?

I wouldn’t want to commit PGNZI to a timeframe. It certainly could be within the timeframe Mr Gibbs has in mind – if we can resolve the outstanding issues.

What are the obstacles to a solution?

I don’t intend to discuss the terms and conditions that are being negotiated. We have an obligation to put these before growers before we talk about them publicly. But I can say that most of the obstacles to a settlement are ones raised by ENZA itself and that only ENZA can overcome.

ENDS

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