Media Release 03.07.19
From: Chris Leitch, Leader
Subject: Westland Shareholders Urged Not To Sell
Social Credit is urging farmers attending the Westland Milk shareholders meeting tomorrow to vote against the sale of
the company to Chinese government owned Yili.
Yili has access to unlimited sums of money from China's central bank which allows it to make the kind of offer it has
for Westland, while West Coast farmers are being hung out to dry by their own government.
Farmers, and the whole dairy industry, should be putting pressure on the government to provide the same sort of support
for the industry that Yili is getting from its government.
They need to remind the Labour Party that it was the party that put in place an overdraft facility at the Reserve Bank
at a cost of just one percent interest for the Dairy Board, at no cost to taxpayers, back in 1936.
That facility stayed in place until the mid 80's and was a major driver of the strength the industry now has.
The Reserve Bank wouldn't need to borrow the money to provide the overdraft facility because it has the ability to
create the necessary funds in exactly the same way as commercial banks do now when they make loans.
A similar facility could be provided on a short term basis for farmers under pressure from the banks over their loans,
until the company is back on its feet.
The government's failure to act will see Westland owned by the Chinese government with the profits going offshore
instead of staying on the West Coast.
That may well be the outcome for the whole of our dairy industry if Fonterra can't satisfactorily deal with its $7
billion debt mountain.
The legacy of this government could well be that it oversaw the ownership of New Zealand’s dairy industry transferred to
Chinese government, while it sat on its hands, when it could easily have retained that ownership in New Zealand.