[8 February/NZ Herald]

Halting changes to Fonterra’s enabling legislation would allow for a broader review of New Zealand’s dairy sector and whether it is adding enough value to our dairy industry, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The proposed changes gave the co-operative discretion on accepting milk from new dairy conversions and would remove the need to sell regulated raw milk to large rival processors. Although the bill considered some important issues, it was far too cut-throat when addressing others, according to Mr O’Connor. He had the intention to introduce legislation this year to amend DIRA and prevent ‘efficiency and contestability provisions’ of the Act expiring in the South Island in May until a comprehensive review is completed. First NZ Capital analyst, Arie Dekker, noted that he was ‘somewhat surprised’ at Mr O’Connor’s decision for a new review of the dairy industry. Mr Dekker added that the review may consider whether the right regulatory, capital and other incentive structures are in place to optimise the returns from dairy for the NZ economy.