Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Are kiwis being over-charged for milk

Gordon Copeland Press Release
For Immediate Release
Monday, 17th March 2008

Are kiwis being over-charged for milk

Independent MP Gordon Copeland, the Kiwi Party’s spokesperson on commerce, today questioned whether New Zealanders are paying too much for milk.

“The dairy industry have consistently told New Zealanders that the recent dramatic increase in price is the result of international market conditions,” said Mr Copeland.

“It comes as a surprise therefore to discover that the current price for two litres of standard homogenised milk in New Zealand, at around $3.25, is actually higher than comparable prices in Australia, the USA, the United Kingdom, and Canada.”

“The price of milk should actually be significantly less here than in the countries to which New Zealand exports. Freight and insurance from New Zealand, the tariff payable at the border (the tariff into China for example is 10%) and internal freight within the importing country all have to be netted back to establish a comparable price in New Zealand.”

“In simple terms, the New Zealand price should be below comparable prices overseas, not above. On the face of it therefore, the fact that it is the other way around is grounds for an in depth examination if we are to be sure that the dairy industry is not overcharging the kiwi consumer.”

“Government should immediately ask the Commerce Commission for a full inquiry into this matter. I raised the issue with the Commission at the Commerce Select Committee last week and was advised that their main concern is to ensure that domestic competition for milk and other dairy products exists within New Zealand. However, that does not reassure me.”

“Fonterra dominates the New Zealand milk market and in those circumstances it is naïve to imagine that the smaller suppliers have a commercial incentive to lower their prices. In fact it is the other way around. It is in their financial interest to match the price established by the dominant player, since that will maximise profitability and farmer returns.”

“In those circumstances, kiwi consumers need to be assured someone is looking out for their interests. The price of butter and other dairy products could be looked at, at the same time.”

Price of two litres of milk

New Zealand 3.25
Australia (average Sydney/Melbourne) 3.10
U.K (Sainsbury’s) 2.94
U.S.A 2.53
Canada (Vancouver) 2.36
France 3.43

Note: All prices have been converted back to New Zealand Dollars at exchange rates on 12 March 2008. Volumes have been standardised for two litres of milk. Full workings available on request.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Another Leader Exiting: Statement From Peter Dunne

I have concluded, based on recent polling, and other soundings I have been taking over the last few weeks, that, the volatility and uncertainty notwithstanding, there is now a mood amongst Ōhāriu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter...

“I have therefore decided that it is time for me to stand aside, so the people of Ōhāriu can elect a new electorate MP. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election