Historic: High tech gear at NBA conference: 1972

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NickWallingford

BOP Club
229
338
Tauranga
Experience
Retired
Fifty years ago - back in 1972 - the beekeeping industry awaited the (pretty major and important) Caucus Committee Inquiry into the NZ Honey Industry.

http://www.beekeeping.nz/NZBDA/timeline/1972_Caucus_Inquiry_Report.pdf

Allan Dick (the main author) was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture, and having opened previous NBA conferences it was expected to be a lively event. Though some of the recommendations of the Committee were seen as acceptable, others were not. I'll bet there were some bkprs who were making notes of the questions they would have for the Under-Secretary when he fronted to the Kaitaia conference in July 1972.

But then, sadly and suddently, there was some "pressing business in the House", and Mr. Dick backed out of attending shortly before the conference. But all was not lost - keen personnel in the old "P and T" (Post and Telegraph Dept) sorted out a way so that the Under-Secretary could still be in Wellington - but speak into a microphone that was amplified into the NBA conference hall in Kaitaia.

And for Mr. Dick, this arrangement had added advantages - not only did he not have to front the bkprs, but he was not able even to hear anything from the people at conference, so was unable to take their questions. He just made an opening set of remarks, but it was noted that (somehow???) he had been able to hear the applause that concluded his address. I'm not sure how that worked.

This, only 50 years ago, was touted as cutting-edge technology in the communications sector - the NBA was quite proud of the attention it got!
 
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NickWallingford

BOP Club
229
338
Tauranga
Experience
Retired
Fifty years ago - back in 1972 - the beekeeping industry awaited the (pretty major and important) Caucus Committee Inquiry into the NZ Honey Industry.

http://www.beekeeping.nz/NZBDA/timeline/1972_Caucus_Inquiry_Report.pdf
One of the comments from that report relates to price cutting, and it met strong opposition from the honey industry... The industry had been damaged on multiple occasions in the past by the dumping of honey and price-cutting, especially in years of high production.

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The expectation was that since there was a body set up to buy honey to deal with these up and down seasons of production, that to act contrary to that for individual gain should be 'discouraged or prevented'. Govt says no, that's market forces...
 

NickWallingford

BOP Club
229
338
Tauranga
Experience
Retired
This is off the top of my head, without going back to read 'the source documents'...

So this led to the end of the Seals Levy as such. It was replaced with a 'per hive' levy, paid to the HMA, but with funding being paid to the NBA.

But more significantly, the HMA still retained, even after this, the sole right to export. Ultimately, the HMA was compelled (?) to allow for packed lines of honey (but not drums).

It wasn't until 1979 that the industry really seemed to indicate a preferred direction - the dismantling of the HMA. And also, from the 'inside', with bkprs standing for the HMA to ensure the interests of other beekeepers was preserved.

And then, the dispersal of its assets. Some was initially loaned to the Honey Co-op, which got repaid. And that is the money that now forms the Honey Industry Trusts. I wish their value to the whole beekeeping industry was better understood...
 
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NickWallingford

BOP Club
229
338
Tauranga
Experience
Retired
And one last bit of context. While the HMA was primarily charged with exporting NZ's honey (they were the only ones allowed to do it), it also sold on the local market.

Remember, though, that packers (and the more common producer/packers) had to pay a Seals Levy on the honey they sold. The HMA (who collected this levy!) did not have to pay it, leading to accusations of unfair competition on the local market.

The HMA argued they needed the local market to balance off the exports, and as a way of disposing of darker honeys (mixing them with clover to make darker blends that consumers - esp North Island - liked).

And in 1968, I think it was, the HMA bought three major packing operations in the South Island: David Penrose's outfit (Hornby), the Woods' brothers outfit (Rangiora) and Dick Holland's honey plant (Pleasant Point). As well as the equipment, the HMA bought the honey stocks, and the future contracts. And this at a time when there was a disasterously small crop, not many stocks available, and the claims of unfair competition on the local market, and retaining sole access to the export market - it didn't sit well in the industry. And it set the scene for the intervention of this 1972 Caucus Committee report that led, nearly a decade later, to the dismantling of the HMA.
 


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