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Proposals will kill national economic security

Media Release on behalf of Dairy Workers Union
Tuesday 1 December, 2009

2025 Taskforce proposals will kill national economic security

The 2025 Taskforce proposal to sell off Fonterra - NZ’s largest single wealth creator - is economic suicide, says the Dairy Workers Union.

“Selling off Fonterra will kill national economic security,” said Dairy Workers Union National Secretary James Ritchie. “Far too much of our wealth disappears offshore already in the form of profit taking, human resources and intellectual capital. Now it appears we should sell off our dairy industry to finance capital. That will certainly create wealth for international investors but will make ordinary New Zealanders a whole lot poorer.”

The Taskforce recommended that “the Government should strongly encourage the transformation of Fonterra into a conventional company structure with fully – traded outside capital, using any appropriate instruments at its disposal.”

“What would selling Fonterra to overseas investors achieve? Additional processing adds value to our dairy products. Why would an overseas owner want to carry out further processing here when they likely have their own factories at home to do the same? We would end up exporting solely raw materials.”

“Today the exports flow out and the money flows back in to NZ communities. This proposal has the exports AND the money flowing out of NZ,” said Mr Ritchie. “This is the tired old New Right prescription to make a few people extraordinarily rich at the expense of an increasing number of low paid workers, who will be stripped of social security protections.”

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The Dairy Workers Union advocates lifting our incomes through a high skills, high workplace productivity and high wages path underpinned by strong social and environmental standards.

“The 2025 taskforce advocates a return to the failed policies of the 80’s and 90’s and undermines New Zealand’s economic sovereignty,” concluded Mr Ritchie. “The Government should ignore all recommendations and ask people who live in the 21st century with an eye to the future to make a new set of recommendations.”


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