Home' Greymouth Star : March 8th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Saturday, March 8, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1702 - Queen Anne ascends British throne
upon the death of King William III.
1765 - Britain's House of Lords passes Stamp
Act to tax American colonies.
1865 - Canal is begun in the Netherlands to
connect Amsterdam with North Sea.
1889 - Death of John Ericsson,
Swedish-born US ship designer and
inventor of the rst successful screw
1930 - Mohandas K Gandhi begins
his campaign of civil disobedience
against British rule in India.
1948 - e US Supreme Court rules that
religious instruction in public schools violates
1950 - Marshal Voroshilov announces Soviet
possession of atomic bomb.
1965 - United States lands 3500 Marines in
1971 - Muhammad Ali su ers rst defeat
as a professional boxer, beaten by Joe Frazier;
Death of Harold Lloyd, US silent lm
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Richard Howe, English admiral (1726-
1799); Kenneth Grahame, British author
(1859-1932); Cyd Charisse, US actress-dancer
(1921-2008); Lynn Redgrave,
English actress (1943-2010);
Mickey Dolenz, US actor-director
and singer of Monkees fame (1945-
); Carole Bayer Sager, US singer and
songwriter (1947-); Gary Numan,
British singer (1958-); Freddie
Prinze Jr, US actor (1976-); James
Van Der Beek, US actor (1977-).
"We do not acquire humility. ere is
humility in us --- only we humiliate ourselves
before false gods." --- Simone Weil, French
"Open their eyes so that they may turn from
darkness to light and from the power of Satan
to God, so that they may receive forgiveness
of sins and a place among those who are
sancti ed by faith in Me.' --- (Acts 26.18).
e emphasis will
be placed on the
industrial uses of coal
in this year's boosted
advertising and publicity campaign of the Coal
Advisory Service Association. is was decided
when the organisation approved its budget
for the industry for the next 12 months at its
quarterly meeting in Greymouth recently. In
all, CASA plans to spend £10,200 for national
publicity, a slight increase on the previous
Of this total, £5500 has been set aside for
newspapers with an extra £1500 for non-daily
journals. Television advertising is expected to
take £2500, while the gure for radio is £700.
A representative from Wellington for the
publicity section of the organisation said the
intention is also to promote research in the
industry, particularly with regard to the use of
pulverised coal fuels.
Wheat growing on the West Coast could be a
pro table venture if the Mai Mai experimental
crop could be taken as any criterion, according
to the Minister of Lands, Mr Gerard. e
minister, who is himself an agricultural
and sheep farmer in Mid-Canterbury, was
impressed by the potential the West Coast
o ers as a wheat growing area.
He estimated there would be about 40
bushels to the acre from the crop and he added
that farmers in Canterbury would be lucky to
attain that average this season.
Despite the fact that it gained record box
o ce receipts through a period of very bad
weather, the Greymouth Operatic Society
made no great pro t out of its White Horse
Inn production. e nal balance showed £738
in the bank.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
e rst mistake of the Ukrainian
revolutionaries was to abandon the
agreement of February 23 to create a
national unity government, including
some of the revolutionary leaders, that
would administer the country until new
elections in December. It would have left
President Viktor Yanukovych in o ce
until then, but with severely diminished
powers, as the constitution would have
been changed to restore the authority of
Leaving a man who ordered the murder
of dozens of protesters in power even
temporarily was a bitter pill to swallow,
but it had tacit Russian support because
it saved President Vladimir Putin's face.
However, the crowds on Independence
Square refused to accept the deal, and
Yanukovych was forced to ee.
Parliament subsequently rati ed
his removal, but it was the mob, and
especially the right-wing ghting groups
like Praviy Sektor, who led, and the
leadership who followed. Putin was
humiliated, and he was given the pretext
for claiming that Ukraine had fallen to a
"fascist coup" as a justi cation, however
imsy, for rejecting the legitimacy of the
new Ukrainian government.
e second grave error --- and this one
was entirely unforced --- was the new
government's decision to repeal the law
giving Russian equal status as an o cial
language in provinces with large Russian-
speaking populations. It delighted
Ukrainian-speaking ultra-nationalists in
the west of the country, but it needlessly
alienated the two- fths of Ukraine's
population who speak Russian as their
So now Putin is bringing
pressure on the new
by backing a secessionist
movement in Crimea (where
three- fths of the people
speak Russian). e rubber-
stamp Russian parliament has
also granted him authority to
use Russian troops elsewhere in Ukraine
to "protect" Russians --- by which it seems
to mean Ukrainians in eastern Ukraine
who speak Russian, although they are not
actually under attack.
Putin has not yet sent Russian troops
into the eastern parts of Ukraine.
However, pro-Russian crowds have
appeared in cities like Kharkov, Donetsk
and Lugansk demanding Russian
"protection" --- amid plausible reports that
many people in those crowds are actually
Russians imported from just across the
border for the occasion, and not Russian-
speaking Ukrainians at all. e promised
Ukrainian election on May 25 may never
e Ukrainian army has been
mobilised, and actual ghting could be
only days away if the Russians invade
eastern Ukraine, or attack the encircled
Ukrainian garrisons in Crimea. Maybe
Putin is just blu ng; more likely, he
does not yet know himself how far he
is willing to go. But one thing generally
leads to another, and some blu s are hard
to walk away from.
Are we on the brink of a new cold war?
It would not be a hot war, except in
Ukraine. Nobody will send troops to
defend Ukraine, nor should they. Nobody
is in position to stop Russia from
conquering Ukraine if it chooses to, and
turning it into a wider European war (or
a world war) would not help matters.
In any case, Moscow would probably
not try to conquer all of Ukraine. Kiev
and the west would ght very hard, and
after they were defeated they would
continue to resist a Russian occupation
with guerilla tactics, including terrorism.
Putin does not need that, so part of
Ukraine would remain free, and call for
It would come, in the form of nancial
and military aid, and maybe even what
has hitherto been rigorously excluded
from the discussion: Nato membership.
And there Russia and everybody in
Nato would sit for the next ve or 10 or
20 years in a frozen confrontation that
would include a trade embargo, an arms
race, and a remote but real possibility of a
is is not at all what Putin intends or
expects, of course. He is calculating that
once he controls the Russian-speaking
parts of Ukraine, he will be able to
enforce a restructuring of the country as
a federation in which the government of
the eastern, Russian-speaking part will be
permanently under Russia's thumb, and
will have a veto on the decisions of the
at is all Putin wants out of this:
a Ukrainian government that always
respects Russia's wishes. It could even
pursue a di erent policy on issues like
human rights, if it wants (so long as it
does not give Russians ideas). He does
not want to micro-manage the place.
He is not out to conquer the world. He
is not even out to re-conquer Eastern
But Putin's calculations about Ukraine
have been wrong every single time since
the turn of the century. He backed
Yanukovych before 2004, and the Orange
Revolution proved him wrong. He backed
Yanukovych even more enthusiastically
after 2010; the policy blew up in his face
again. And here he is yet again, backing
Yanukovych as the president-in-exile of
his Russia-friendly fantasy version of
His calculations are wrong. If he
continues down this road, he will cause a
quite needless political disaster.
Gwynne Dyer is an independent
journalist whose articles are published in
A premature history of the Second Cold War
WORLD IN FOCUS
with Gwynne Dyer
End of the white gold rush?
I did it again. is week I voluntarily
chose to have someone put a big black
smeared cross on my forehead, using
ashes. It was certainly noticeable, and as it
dried, little ecks dropped on the table as I
worked later in the day.
It is a messy mark, and rather noticeable
when I enter a shop. At least it is a talking
point. at is not a bad thing nowadays,
as it is so hard to nd easy openings that
lead into short and yet possibly profound
Inevitably there are massive forest res
in Victoria this time of the year. I am
morti ed by the widespread devastation
caused by these events, the destruction of
beautiful homes and the charred remains
everywhere. Occasionally the res are
caused by arsonists, but mostly from
natural causes such as lightning, a piece of
broken glass acting as a magnifying glass
What good can come of such
catastrophes? Well, for a start, the forest is
renewed. e many seeds that have fallen
from the towering trees over the years have
lain dormant. All they needed to break
them open and generate new life was a
high heat source. e res actually were the
In our lives it can often be the catastrophes
that force us to re-evaluate our priorities,
open us up to new possibilities, and to
consider new ways of living.
Unfortunately, which way we turn is
still our choice. Some turn towards God,
seek His love, His forgiveness and His
guidance. Others are angry at God, angry
that He let it happen, and turn their back
e ash on my forehead is a symbol
and a reminder to me and others that I
freely choose to follow the Lord, seek His
guidance for my life, and choose to forgive
those who have hurt me, betrayed me or
As I pray with people to be healed from
the trauma of their past memories and
dreadful experiences, I never cease to be
astounded at how profound and deep His
healing is. I am talking about violent abuse,
sometimes physical, sometimes mental and
sometimes spiritual. ere have been cases
of deep rejection, bullying, satanic abuse
and grief of various sorts.
As I pray, Jesus seems to heal the mind,
the memories, the anger and the hurt.
Ash Wednesday reminds me that God
has called me to this work. It also reminds
each of us that we have a choice as to
whether we choose to bring good out of
catastrophes, or let them ruin our lives.
Greymouth and Kumara Anglican
Six dead babies --- that is what
it took to create a whole new
market segment for New
Zealand's dairy industry.
China's 2008 melamine
scandal, which also left
about 300,000 babies sick after the
toxic chemical was illegally added into
the country's milk supply, resulted in
surging sales of imported infant formula
as Chinese parents panicked about the
quality of domestically sourced products.
In a rush to feed that demand, more than
100 baby milk brands --- many with links
to Chinese businesspeople --- were created
in New Zealand.
is country's advanced capabilities
in contract packing and manufacturing
meant you did not need to start a factory,
or even have an interest in one, to get in
on the white goldrush.
Aspiring infant formula magnates
--- whose previous dairy experience
extended no further than buying milk
from the supermarket --- could develop
brands and become dairy exporters from
the comfort of their own homes.
New Zealand's infant formula exports to
China, which were worth just $515,000 in
2003, reached $107 million by 2012 and
almost doubled to $200 million last year,
despite Fonterra's botulism false alarm
spooking Chinese consumers.
While that is only a small portion of our
total dairy exports to China ($2.6 billion
in 2012), it has been a fast growing and
--- crucially --- value-added export trade.
But question marks are hanging over
how many New Zealand brands will
survive. Major changes are taking place in
China as its Government pushes to restore
consumers' con dence through regulatory
changes and a massive consolidation of
the world's fastest growing infant formula
market, where retail sales are predicted to
reach $29.4b by 2017.
is week, four o cials from China's
Certi cation and Accreditation
Administration began an audit of seven
local baby formula and dairy manufacturing
facilities, including some operated by
Fonterra and Westland Milk Products.
e inspectors' arrival comes ahead of a
new requirement that all baby milk makers
exporting to China be registered with the
Chinese Government by May 1.
While audits are commonplace in the
food industry, it is the rst time Chinese
o cials have audited New Zealand dairy
manufacturing facilities and the industry is
on edge about the possible outcome.
e Ministry for Primary Industries even
recommended that manufacturers travel
to Beijing, at their own cost, to meet the
audit delegation before they left China.
Companies have also been advised by the
ministry to think about any "refreshments"
they may provide to the visiting auditors
and to "make sure that any recent
corrective actions have been resolved and
be able to show what was done".
Rumours swirling around the market
include speculation that our biggest
trading partner may allow only 10 New
Zealand formula brands into China, or
that only brands with retail sales in this
country may become eligible for sale in the
e anxiety within companies is
highlighted in the notes of a meeting held
last month between manufacturers and the
Ministry for Primary Industries.
According to the notes, Howard Staveley,
the ministry's infant formula programme
manager, highlighted a "number of
signi cant uncertainties" around the
registration process, including whether
restrictions would be placed on the
number of brands and whether a ban on
contract manufacturing in China would
also apply to imports.
e meeting notes also state: "While
there are some uncertainties, rumours
such as a limitation on the number of
brands have not been substantiated in
a formal government-to-government
In a question-and-answer session, one
company asked whether it was true that
three out of seven French plants failed their
Chinese audits, but the ministry was unable
to con rm that. e ministry said it did not
want manufacturers to fail the audits, as
there were "some risks" and it was unclear
how the Chinese would deal with factory
As things stand, China's booming baby
milk market is a global oddity --- a fact
highlighted in a report by Auckland
market research rm Coriolis.
Across much of the planet this lucrative
segment of the dairy trade is controlled by
a small number of brands owned by ve
major multi-national companies: Danone
(based in France), Nestle (Switzerland),
Abbott, Mead Johnson and Heinz (all
Nestle, for example, has a whopping 74%
share of India's formula market, says the
Coriolis report, while Danone, through its
Karicare brand, commands a 64% share of
the New Zealand trade.
e Chinese market, on the other hand,
is much less consolidated.
In the world's second biggest economy
the multi-national giants are going
head-to-head with large Chinese dairy
companies and a bevy of smaller formula
players, both domestic and foreign,
including the New Zealand marketing-
only brands --- which contract out the
entire manufacturing process --- that
emerged after the melamine disaster.
e report says the unconsolidated, "wild
west" conditions in the Chinese market
were one of the main reasons for the
explosion in the number of infant formula
brands being exported from this country.
"Much, if not all of the current action
and excitement in the New Zealand infant
formula industry can be seen as a result of
this situation in China," the report says.
"While the future is full of opportunities,
there are clouds on the horizon,
particularly in China."
Coriolis analyst Tim Morris says the
Chinese Government is all too aware
of the political mine eld that is infant
formula --- and food safety in general ---
in China. "It doesn't matter if you're a one
party, pseudo-communist state, or you're
a completely free market --- dead babies
are not a good thing," Mr Morris said.
"You've got to be seen to be addressing the
e practices of some local infant
formula exporters caused a few headaches
last year when their activities were latched
upon by China's State-run CCTV news
channel, which exposed false claims that
some export-only brands were making
in their Chinese marketing, about being
well-known in New Zealand.
CCTV also ran stories that questioned
whether New Zealand's contract
manufacturing system was producing
brands that Chinese parents could trust.
Cynics were quick to label the reports
political spin manufactured by China's
Government, which was about to launch
its plan to rebuild its domestic infant
formula industry --- decimated by the
melamine scandal --- by consolidating the
market and supporting about ve Chinese
"national champion" baby milk makers.
Whichever way you look at it, New
Zealand's reputation for safe milk products
was dragged through the mud on millions
of television screens across our biggest
export market. A couple of months later
Fonterra further fanned the ames with its
Morris was surprised to discover, while
researching the Coriolis report, one infant
formula exporter registered to the address
of a low-end motel in west Auckland.
"It's a market anomaly that that kind of
thing can go on for any length of time,"
Morris says. "It was a post-melamine,
China anomaly. China's (infant formula
market) is now normalising back to what
the rest of the world looks like."
Where would New Zealand t into a
consolidated Chinese baby milk market?
"We're in shakeout mode right now," says
Morris. "Ninety to 95% of the 100 plus
(marketing-only) brands are going to be
However, he is quick to point out that
small contract manufactured brands ---
which he refers to as "rats and mice"
--- account for only a small proportion
of New Zealand's total baby milk output.
Morris reckons the big local players are
not facing such a precarious future.
Fonterra contract packs infant formula
for Nestle and Heinz, says the Coriolis
report, as well as supplying bulk baby
milk base powder and other ingredients
to major multinationals. e dairy co-op,
New Zealand's biggest company, also
launched its own infant formula brand,
Anmum, in China last year.
Dairy processor Synlait produces
an infant formula brand called Pure
Canterbury that is marketed in China by
the company's cornerstone shareholder,
Chinese dairy giant Bright Dairy. e
Canterbury rm also produces A2's
Platinum formula brand under contract.
A2 has signed up State-owned China
State Farm as its Chinese distributor,
which has established a distribution
network for the NZX-listed company
across 13 provinces.
New Zealand's second-biggest dairy
co-operative, Westland Milk Products,
exports bulk formula to China from its
$25m infant nutrition plant in Hokitika.
Chinese dairy giants Yili and Yashili
--- two of those national champions
the Chinese Government likes to talk
about --- are also shelling out about
$400m between them to establish infant
formula plants in Canterbury and Pokeno,
" e vast majority of our infant formula
exports are safe," Mr Morris said.
Westland chief executive Rod Quin says
the Chinese Government has indicated
that it wants to do business with dairy
manufacturers which control the entire
supply chain, from the cows through to
at puts companies like Westland,
Fonterra and Synlait --- which control
their own milk supply --- in a good
position to deal with the regulatory
changes, he says. "We think that's a real
opportunity for Westland, but quite how it
plays out and the requirements is still the
area that everybody's asking about."
A2 managing director Geo rey Babidge
expressed a similar view when the
company reported its interim result last
week. "We are hopeful that we will be a
winner out of changes (in China) that will
emerge over time," he said.
Kelvin Wickham, Fonterra's Shanghai-
based president for greater China and
India, says the new regulations mean
consolidation in the Chinese infant
formula market is a certainty. " ere's
still opportunities, but not everyone will
make it," Wickham says. " e standards
and expectations that are required --- the
auditing and the checks and balances ---
will mean that you're going to have to have
su cient scale (to stay in the market)."
--- New Zealand Herald
Westland Milk Products' factory in Hokitika.
Westland Milk Products well placed for the future
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