Telecoms Kiwi Share & Risk and the NZDBThursday, Oct 5, 2000
Compiling material and comment at the end of tenuous phone connection to a hotel in Warsaw, Poland brings
home the need for a sensible outcome from the telecommunications debate that is being joined
over the Kiwi share limitations.
That the Internet has an important role for most farmers is clear. That most farmers find the Internet
bothersome to use is also clear. Not because of the Internet itself but because of the problems
with connection and speed of access.
A way out of the Kiwi share dilemma, which achieves the best connection outcome for rural communities
are urgently needed. For the debate to drift into an argument on cross subsidisation between urban
and rural users would be a disaster. The Kiwi share delivered rights to every household –
rurals included - these should be retained.
However reality must prevail when new technology is urgently required to improve the operation of farm
businesses.The cost of delay may far exceed the benefits to be gained.
Business use of the Internet is a two way street for farmers. Bankers, local government, merchandisers
and retailers to name a few are pressing for improved urban-rural contact on internet based systems
because it’s cheaper than the current means of contact. They also have a responsibility
Bonlac - NZDB
The potential for the NZ Dairy Board – Bonlac deal turning sour is increasing daily. The excitement
generated by these capital demanding joint ventures is now wearing off as the reality of business
risk bites at the glowing potentials described at the initial signing.
Is the New Zealand Dairy industry being led down an investment path where the risk, is not/cannot be
defined but you the producer shareholders will carry the can for over enthusiastic empire building
such as happened to MD Foods, the Danish dairy Coop or Sodima the French dairy Coop?
Risk is part of being a farmer but what stop loss mechanisms are in place to protect the interests of
the shareholding farmer in these large business joint venture investments where the NZDB cannot
exert total control?
Flood and rain and cold seems to be pressing down the earlier optimism we all had for this season being
one of the best.