Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 18 March 2010 Contents RURAL NEWS
Page 14 | 18 March, 2010
Southland dairy farmers have
plenty of work ahead of them in
the next few years as they meet
demand from Fonterra's ever-
increasing domestic market both
here and across the Tasman.
That's according to the company's
Australia and New Zealand
business unit and New Zealand
consumer brands managing
director John Doumani, who spoke
to Fonterra farmer shareholders
from around Southland at a
meeting in Mandeville last week.
"Sixty percent of the product
comes from New Zealand milk,"
he said. And if he had anything to
do with it, those numbers would
only increase in the future.
However, dairy farmers like those
in Southland were the key.
"We can't do what we do --
without you doing what you do.
Your support as suppliers and as
shareholders is very important to
Fresh off the plane from Sydney,
Mr Doumani said profit had
increased by 36 percent in the
last year for Fonterra's Australia-
New Zealand business unit. It was
now a $3.1 billion business, with
brands such as Mainland cheese
and Nestle yoghurt making a big
impact in Australia.
"We milk cows, we make stuff and
we sell it -- it's that simple."
However, he said he was cautious
not to sound too cavalier.
"We're in very competitive markets
and we never take it for granted,"
Here in New Zealand Mainland
and Kapiti cheeses, Fresh'n'Fruity
Yoghurt and Tip Top icecream
were top-selling products and he
felt positive about the future.
"I think New Zealand's economy is
coming out of the recession."
Mr Doumani, who has had 30
years' experience in consumer
goods, working for companies
like Meadowlea, Arnotts and
Campbell's soups, said he was
enjoying his time at Fonterra.
"Dairy is good -- it's healthy."
Dairy in good shape
By Mary Witsey
Environment Southland proposes
to introduce a new annual charge
onto resource consents for taking
Chairman Stuart Collie said the
proposal, which would reduce
the amount that the general
ratepayer pays towards scientific
investigations and monitoring the
use of the region's aquifers and
waterways, would be included in
the Draft Annual Plan, which will
be open for public consultation.
Environment Southland presently
spends $1.72 million of the
general rate on monitoring the
region's water resources to
manage the effects of abstraction
and other consented and
permitted uses that may impact
on the region's waterways.
Chief Executive Ciaran Keogh said
much of this work would continue
to be funded from the general rate
because it benefitted the wider
community and was required by
legislation. However, the council
had established that $900,000
of its operating expenses
were required because of the
consented abstraction of water
from rivers and aquifers. These
relate specifically to scientific
investigations and monitoring the
region's ground and surface water
"The council considers that it is
appropriate that the parties who
have exclusive access to water
should meet at least a proportion
of the costs incurred to manage
it," Mr Collie said.
It is proposed that all commercial
activities -- ranging from hydro-
electric power stations to dairy
sheds but excluding human and
stock drinking water supplies --
would incur the charge.
Town water supplies and
community stock water schemes
would only incur a half charge as
these have a mix of commercial
and dairy shed supplies along with
the residential consumers.
Mr Keogh said there was no
reason for the research and
monitoring charge to have an
impact on household rates
charged by the city and district
councils. Each council could
recover the charge through its
water charges on commercial
water supplies. The level of charge
proposed for each town equates to
approximately $1 per resident per
year. For example, the Southland
District would pay a total of
$26,563 for all of its town water
supplies, with the Gore District
Council paying a total of $17,500.
Environment Southland's proposal
includes a minimum charge of
$100 for each consented water
take, with a maximum charge of
$5000 for groundwater takes and
$50,000 for those from surface
water. This will have the effect of
reducing the regional rate across
all properties in Southland.
"The region's groundwater,
springs, streams and rivers are
all part of one system," Mr Collie
"What one person takes and uses
is not available for anyone else to
use. It is even more complicated
than that because where one
person has a consent to take
water, that water is not available
for anyone else whether it is used
or not because the resource
consent process acts like a
"The entire regional economy is
dependent on use of the region's
water supplies. We've seen a
skyrocketing increase in demands
placed on these resources in the
past decade. These demands
have brought considerable wealth
to the region but we are now at the
point where great care must be
taken with the resource to ensure
that we do not destroy the golden
"Science and planning and
policy work along with tighter
management is now required to
enable the region's economy to
continue to enjoy the benefits of
this precious resource."
Growth in demand for water is
such that all resource consents
combined allow over 300,000
tonnes of water to be removed
every day from the ground and
surface water resources of the
Mataura Valley. Stock water
supplies are not included in these
Mr Collie said submissions on
the Draft Annual Plan would
be open for six weeks and he
urged anyone with a view on the
proposed charges to send in their
"We need to hear from those
who support these charges as
much as those who may be
opposed to it."
Water charges proposed
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