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French-owned wine maker chokes Kiwi business growth

5th September 2013

French-owned wine maker chokes Kiwi business growth

French-owned wine maker Cloudy Bay is using dirty tactics and the Resource Management Act to stifle the development of the newly consented Moa brewery expansion, says chief executive Geoff Ross.

The craft brewer, which has been on its current Marlborough site for ten years since the company was founded, was granted resource consent to modestly expand operations last month.

That decision has been appealed by Cloudy Bay and two other locals in the area who Moa believe are also being funded by the French company, Ross says.

“We now see why New Zealand business and in particular provincial New Zealand is being held back by self-serving use of the RMA.

“What we have here is a French-owned company, who trades on our Kiwi identity trying to dictate the terms of operation to a genuine New Zealand business.

“And what’s worse they send much of their profits back to France.

“It also seems ironic that they are taking issue with our new building, which would easily fit inside just one of their five huge buildings.

“It doesn't seem very neighbourly at all, and disadvantages the region it resides in,” Ross said.

“We went through the process in the right manner and we were deemed successful. Now, the unknown intention of a foreign company and minority interests of one or two locals are holding up what the authorities have already approved. That is wrong - especially for such a small development,” he says.

“It’s more of a nuisance than a road block, but one that costs Marlborough and a NZ owned business growth.  Every other wine region in the world has active craft brewers. So too should Marlborough.”

Ross said the company has adequate capacity as it can brew new volume with friends at other breweries in other regions. “This will enable the needs of the business to be met in the near and medium term whilst this is all sorted out,” he said.

“We believe ours was a strong application, as was agreed by the Independent Commissioner in his original decision.”

ENDS

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