Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industry
New Zealand First is deeply concerned by conflict of interest allegations made over the sale of Westland Milk Group to Yili Industrial Group.
Yili has offered $588 million to purchase the Co-op of which Westland Milk Board has accepted and will take to their farmers for a vote. However over $1.5 million in bonuses have been offered to top Westland Milk management should farmers vote in favour.
“It is outrageous that chief executive Toni Brendish has been offered $680,000 by Yili if the sale goes through. How can we trust that the interests of our farmers are properly represented when top management are lured with big money?” says New Zealand First Primary Industry spokesperson Mark Patterson.
“We need to take the sale and retention of key strategic assets much more seriously. This situation shows the need for a national interest test as part of the overseas investment office process so we can counter foreign companies forking out cash to get their way,” Says Mr Patterson.