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Zespri’s lost fruit, syndicate backs Fiji casinos, the Chorus ‘tar baby’ and PGC’s legacy

A Shanghai-based kiwifruit importer says it is considering taking legal action against Zespri, New Zealand’s single-desk statutory monopoly.

In today’s National Business Review print edition, Neuhof – which paid a $2.7 million bond to Chinese Customs to release 151 containers of Zespri fruit – says it is looking at the possibility of legal proceedings sometime in the New Year.

In other news, Auckland property developer Tim Manning confirms he’s representing an Asian syndicate which is buying into One Hundred Sands, the exclusive licence-holder for Fiji’s ambitious $US200 million casino project.

New Zealand Initiative senior research fellow Bryce Wilkinson traverses the Chorus saga, and how the 2001 Telecommunications Act further politicised the industry, stimulated self-interested lobbying and focused businesses more on securing regulatory advantages than meeting customer needs.

As Pyne Gould Corporation prepares to exit these shores and re-domicile in Guernsey, before listing in London, Shoeshine questions the company’s disclosure of key information, particularly over claims 3.2% of its total assets are in New Zealand.

Business editor Duncan Bridgeman details why it is Fonterra’s product mix that is creating a financial headache for the dairy giant’s unitholders, while agribusiness professor Jacqueline Rowarth notes the cost of processing commodities exceeds what customers are prepared to pay.

Meanwhile, agribusiness reporter Jamie Ball highlights the Primary Industry Ministry’s quiet announcement that infant formula exports to China will be regulated and audited by Chinese authorities – prompting concerns from New Zealand companies.

Business reporter David Williams talks to Elephant Plasterboard, the Auckland-based importer which prompted the Commerce Commission’s probe into Fletcher Building’s plasterboard supply arrangements – and discovers how conservative interpretations of a recent law change by councils has shrunk its market share.

Harbour Asset Management’s Christian Hawkesby traverses next year’s OCR hikes and what it means for fixed interest investors.

Technology editor Chris Keall highlights the plight of Auckland umbrella company Blunt, which is making a splash in the United States and is now in the black.

Briefly,

  • Business Traveller tackles the widening financial performance gap between Air New Zealand and Qantas.
  • Order Paper tackles New Zealand’s representation at Nelson Mandela’s funeral, and concludes it is time to let the 1981 Springbok tour go.
  • In a grief special, In Tray looks at the hundreds of thousands of words of tribute to Nelson Mandela and lays many clichés to rest.

All that and more in today’s National Business Review print edition. Out now.