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Cooperatives Association AGM “hugely successful”

MEDIA RELEASE : New Zealand Cooperatives Association

1 December 2009

Cooperatives Association AGM “hugely successful” says chairperson Peter Macdougall

The New Zealand Cooperatives Association’s annual general meeting was held in Wellington on Friday 27 November.

“With over 40 people present from 24 of our 50 member co-ops and 5 non-member businesses it was a hugely successful day,” says Peter Macdougall, New Zealand Cooperatives Association chairperson.

Chris Knowles, Company Secretary of Foodstuffs South Island spoke to the meeting on the work of the association’s international accounting standards (IAS) working group. Mr Knowles told the meeting that, "while the first battle to ensure that the shares of cooperative businesses are recognised as equity had been won here in New Zealand, the war was not over."

"The working group is keeping an eye on the discussions between the International Accounting Standards Board and the US Financial Accounting Standards who are working to produce a single global accounting standard on how liabilities and equities are to be defined, measured and reported,” said Mr Knowles.

“The Association’s IAS working group is watching these discussions carefully, working closely with the International Cooperative Alliance’s IAS working group," said Mr Knowles.

Association chairperson Peter Macdougall went on to say that, “Alastair Hercus from the law firm Buddle Findlay let the meeting know what issues had been dealt with during the year and what he expected might be coming up during 2010. There are a number of issues of concern to cooperative and mutual businesses that the Association knows we will be looking at, and goodness only knows how many will come up out of the blue.

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“After the formal matters were concluded there was an excellent cooperative seminar which heard from Fonterra Cooperative Group director Colin Armer on the co-op’s proposed capital structure changes.

“Colin Armer was followed by Angus Bradshaw, Managing Director of Motor Trade Finances Ltd which until February this year was a cooperative. Mr Bradshaw gave the meeting his views on how cooperatives can improve their strategy and structure.

“Our final speaker and the one who held everyone’s attention was former Dairy Board Chief Executive, Warren Larsen. Mr Larsen is now chairman of CentrePort Ltd and a director of Air New Zealand and he spoke passionately about the effect cooperatives have on our lives.

“With two cooperatives joining the Association, we now have 50 members which together are responsible for around 20% of New Zealand’s GDP. With a sneak preview at information about to be released by the Companies Office, we look forward to getting in touch with the rest of the country’s cooperative and mutual businesses, of which it seems there are around 100, and making sure they join the association also," Mr Macdougall concluded.


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