Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy can no longer keep his head in the sand over Zespri’s role in the customs fraud allegations in China after damning internal documents were revealed today by the Sunday Star Times, ACT Primary Industries Spokesman Don Nicolson said today.
The documents show that Zespri was worried New Zealand customs would discover what it was doing and alert its China counterparts. The documents also revealed that staff in the company’s shipping department were so worried about being personally liable for filling out incorrect documentation they sought assurances that they would be protected.
“ACT calls on the Minister, again, to launch a full scale independent inquiry into these matters,” Mr Nicolson said.
“ACT has questioned Zespri's role in the customs fraud case right from the start as Zespri’s claim that they had no knowledge of the dodgy dealings in China did not ring true.
“Now there is evidence that Zespri was aware that its invoicing system was likely illegal. The Government must act.
“Zespri's actions impact on the whole Kiwifruit industry and all New Zealand growers are being caught up in this scandal. It is Government regulation that forces all growers to export through Zespri whether they want to or not. ACT does not agree with this.
“Zespri seems to have abandoned its responsibility as a Government mandated export monopoly to represent New Zealand in an appropriate manner.
“Failure to launch an inquiry would be seen as endorsing Zespri’s bad behaviour. Minister Guy must take action immediately,” Mr Nicolson said.
The Sunday Start Times article can be found here
ACT New Zealand will not support Labour MP Damien O’Connor’s Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment Bill (No2), ACT New Zealand Primary Industries Spokesman Don Nicolson said today.
The Bill would limit the proportion of Fonterra co-operative shares that can be held in its shareholders fund to 20 per cent of Fonterra’s share total.
“Legislating tighter limits on the size of the fund is an unnecessary intrusion into the rights and interests of shareholders to determine the destiny of their own company,” Mr Nicolson said.
“Fonterra has sufficient constitutional safeguards and mechanisms for representation and communication to allow shareholders to determine the size of the fund. Shareholders are more than capable of doing this without interference from Government.
“ACT believes the Government’s regulatory involvement with Fonterra should be limited to ensuring that the supply and sale of milk and milk products within New Zealand are open to competition.
“Fonterra is the world’s largest exporter of dairy produce and New Zealand’s largest company. It competes in an ever-changing world and needs to be able to respond to changing circumstances and continue to evolve as a company for the benefit of its shareholders.
“Excessive and unnecessary government involvement will only hinder its ability to do this,” Mr Nicolson said.
昨晚，在新西兰电视台 “One News” 曝光了ZESPRI国际公司的欺诈性商业行为后，新西兰行动党第一产业发言人Don Nicolson提出应该对该猕猴桃垄断出口商进行紧急调查。
ACT New Zealand Primary Industries Spokesman Don Nicolson called for an urgent inquiry into monopoly kiwifruit exporter ZESPRI International’s operations after allegations of dodgy business practices were exposed on TVNZ’s ‘One News’ last night.
It is alleged that ZESPRI had full knowledge of the actions of their importer in China and was complicit in their actions to defraud the Chinese Government by under declaring the Customs invoices and therefore under paying the correct duties.
“These are serious allegations and kiwifruit growers have the right to know the truth since they are being forced by the Government to sell their products through this company,” Mr Nicolson said.
“An independent inquiry is the only way to get a full and accurate picture.
"ACT recently questioned the Government’s continued support of ZESPRI International’s legislated and privileged status which prevents growers who value competition and freedom from exporting to destinations and customers of their choice. ACT believes ‘less is best’ when it comes to government involvement in business and in the lives of citizens. It should be a kiwifruit grower’s right to make to make their own export decisions.
“Last night’s revelations raise serious questions about ZESPRI’s operations and whether the government’s continued support of its monopoly status is really in the best interest of growers.
“ACT will be writing to the Minister of Primary Industries to push for an inquiry,” Mr Nicolson said.
TVNZ: Zespri accused of ‘hoodwinking’ Chinese Govt
Straight Furrow: ‘Zespri’s jailed ‘scapegoat’ appeals ruling http://straightfurrow.realviewtechnologies.com/?label=Digital+Edition#folio=1
ACT: More Questions Raised About Zespri’s operations
Zespri’s apparent bad administration in China raises serious questions about their operations and reinforces the call that kiwifruit growers should be free to sell their products to customers and exporters of their choice, ACT New Zealand Primary Industry Spokesman Don Nicolson said today.
Zespri Management Consulting Corporation and one of its employees have recently been found guilty in a Shanghai Court of false customs declaration.
“If this is what has been allowed to happen in China, what confidence can growers have that this isn’t happening in Zespri’s other markets?” Mr Nicolson said.
“In November 2011, Zespri was fined in Korea for anti-competitive behaviour in the Korean market. Just this weekend the New Zealand Herald revealed that Zespri has a serious employment issue with their highest paid offshore executive. Now rural newspaper, Straight Furrow, has revealed Zespri may be involved in transfer pricing.
“The full cost of management and governance oversight is borne entirely by growers, therefore growers need confidence that Zespri’s processes are rock solid. With all these issues coming to light, growers will be wondering, how much worse is it going to get?
“Ultimately, ACT would like to amend the Kiwifruit Industry Restructuring Act 1999 so that growers can sell their products to the customers and countries of their choice. But in the interim, the government as authors of Zespri’s enabling legislation must launch an inquiry into this developing fiasco,” Mr Nicolson said.
ACT New Zealand Primary Industry Spokesman Don Nicolson today called for an end to Zespri’s export monopoly following the revelation that a Zespri subsidiary, Zespri Management Consulting Corporation, and one of its employees were found guilty in a Shanghai Court of false customs declaration.
“In 1999, the Government passed the Kiwifruit Industry Restructuring Act to restructure the kiwifruit industry and create a monopoly exporter which all New Zealand kiwifruit growers are forced to use to sell their products,” Mr Nicolson said.
“Not all growers have been happy at being forced to use Zespri and after these latest revelations who could blame them? What grower would want to associate with a company that has been involved in criminal activity? The unethical actions of one subsidiary has undermined confidence in Zespri with the fallout affecting the whole New Zealand industry.
“The best way to keep a business honest is by allowing customers to vote with their feet and leave if they are unhappy. But under the 1999 Act, New Zealand growers are unable to export their kiwifruit through anyone else and are stuck with Zespri no matter what they do.
“The New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated is instigating an inquiry but ACT doubts it has a wide enough scope or independence from the industry to be satisfactory.
“ACT believes ‘less is best’ when it comes to government involvement in business and in the lives of citizens. Therefore we believe the Government should move to amend the Kiwifruit Industry Restructuring Act 1999 to give kiwifruit growers the freedom to export their products to the destinations and customers of their choice,” Mr Nicolson said.
Recent comments by kiwifruit cooperative Satara’s departing Managing Director Tom Wilson about ‘Zespri International’s’ brokerage fees raise serious questions about the current legislation that allows Zespri’s export monopoly to exist and whether it is really working to the advantage of growers, ACT New Zealand Primary Industry spokesman Don Nicolson said today.
In his last update to shareholders, Mr Wilson said that brokerage rates of six per cent on gross sale proceeds and six per cent on FOB sales were costing growers between NZ$60m and NZ$140m every year.
“The formation of Zespri was staunchly promoted as being right for the long haul but just like other industries that have tried the same path, discontent was inevitable. Why? Because monopolies become bloated and lazy, with little incentive to keep costs down - Mr Wilson’s comments are a stark reminder of that,” Mr Nicolson said.
“To eliminate the bloated costs Mr Wilson alludes to there needs to be more competition in kiwifruit marketing. Overseas customers have choice in their purchase of kiwifruit and ACT believes New Zealand growers should be free to supply their goods to the exporter of their choice, not have it dictated by Government regulation.
"The deregulation of the apple industry 10 years ago has benefited growers with even the most diehard supporters of the single export desk at the time now supportive of the deregulation process. They do not pine for a return to the single channel marketing structure. ACT believes kiwifruit growers should have the same choice,” Mr Nicolson said.