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Keep Montys On The Coast Says Green MP

Green MP Rod Donald is urging West Coasters to fight back following DB's decision to close the highly successful Monteiths brewery.

"DB's closure of the Monteiths brewery is the latest in a string of stupid decisions by greedy, arrogant overseas-owned corporations putting profit ahead of their staff and local communities," said Rod Donald.

"They're not just closing down a brewery employing 14 staff - Monteiths is also one of Greymouth's main tourist attractions and the impact on the local economy will be enormous.

"Nowhere in DB's statement do they claim the Monteiths plant is unprofitable. With sales increasing by 250 per cent since 1995 the truth is almost certainly the opposite."

Mr Donald said it appeared as though DB's greed has got in the way of commonsense. "One of the reasons people throughout New Zealand drink Monteiths is because it comes from a small West Coast brewery. Close the brewery and you actually destroy the brand's marketing edge, and profitability," he said.

"The decision is a kick in the guts for the loyal staff who have worked hard to achieve the dramatic increase in sales and it's an insult to the people of Greymouth who have gone out of their way to support the brewery staying on the coast.

Mr Donald said the lesson New Zealanders are learning is that you can't trust big overseas corporations, despite the Labour-Alliance government saying we should be making it easier for foreign investors to buy up our businesses through free trade and investment agreements.

"DB is owned by a Singaporean based company, Fraser & Neave Ltd. They probably don't even know where Greymouth is, let alone care about the people who live there. If this is an example of the type of closer economic partnership the government wants with Singapore, then forget it.

"I don't see any point trying to persuade DB to stay on the coast. Instead I would urge the brewery workers to band together with local business people, the district councils, the West Coast Development Trust and loyal customers to start up a new brewery in Greymouth. The first thing someone on the coast should do is register the name 'Montys'.

"As a regular Monteiths customer, and a big fan of their Summer Ale, I would happily buy a debenture in a new locally owned Montys brewery. As an MP I would like to offer my support to the local community and will be doing that directly to Mayor Kevin Brown and local MP Damien O'Conner.

"Meanwhile if DB want to save some face from this public relations disaster they should gift the brewery buildings to the local council so the new locally owned brewery can restart where it belongs.


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