Dairy Leadership Needs to Smarten UpFriday, Jun 1, 2001
What a disappointment to see the chairman designate of NZ’s yet to be formed, biggest company,
on last night’s TV news, counter rational argument with a peasants logic. “Me and my
mates know better than you and your mates” - and then confirm the shallowness of his position
by stating that he knew he was right because he was an uneducated man.
Mr Roadley is certainly more capable than his performance portrayed him but regrettably perception is
reality, because his reasoned objectivity and leadership qualities did not show through on the news
The shareholders who have been told so often that they have the final say on the industries future should
be urgently considering how they could reign in the madness that now seems to be enveloping
the industries unsteady intentions.
Instead of a steady development of consensus for the merger, the past month has seen a disastrous fragmentation
of intention set in, which, by all accounts is set to break out further in the next two
The ugly industry politics of the past have no place in the merged future of the industry. GlobalCo’s
success will come from doing “good business” and ensuring complete attention to
detail in the market place. The executives of the merger must be made confident that any factionalism
won’t distract or disrupt them from their task.
Factional interests cannot be allowed to divert the industry from its current task. That task is the
safe and equitable transfer of the assets of the industry from under the umbrella of compulsory export
acquisition and milk supply control into an open market environment where farmers come and go
according to the opportunities available.
Dairying is not the only game on the block. A timely reminder came out of the south this week. Sheep
returns have also lifted substantially in the past season. Merger or no merger from the coming vote,
farming is driven by the profitable use of land.
The fact that the dairy industry has been held in the countries spotlight in the recent past does not
confirm it will continue to hold that position in the future. Industry shareholders must ensure
the industry assets are carefully husbanded through this next period of unnecessary industry guerrilla