Historic: Holyoake and the HMA - two sets of interesting timing...

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I always kind of thought the bee industry got messed about with by the Govt through the time it took to create the Honey Marketing Authority in Dec 1953.

But that wasn’t anything new. The beekeeping industry got messed around well and truly in the creation of the Honey Marketing Committee back in 1947-48!

Messed around with in the sense of working to obtain industry and Govt concensus, but then seeing the Govt enact legislation that completely negated all of the previous agreements!

The creation of the HMA revolves around Min for Agriculture at the time, Keith Holyoake.

Holyoake made it clear to the industry that the Govt wanted ‘out’ of the roles performed by the Internal Marketing Division for about 15 years previous.

Holyoake called a big meeting in Sept 1953 that led to the HMA Regulations in Dec 1953.

But it was immediately obvious that the HMA Regulations did not at all contain what the beekeepers expected.

None of the things hammered out and agreed upon were included. No automatic financial support for the NBA, no bkprs who supply honey to packers should be allowed to vote, and several other things were just not included.

And were soon after followed by a very badly run election for HMA members, conducted not at all how it was expected…

Holyoake at first refused any responsibility, and referred to the last draft of the regulations that his department had created. As it turns out, that draft had never been provided to the beekeepers!

Holyoake put it down to the hustle and bustle of his department working on all those producer bodies such as ours.

OK, so there’s a lot of sub-text and interesting tid bits relating to all that. That is what I want to pull together, along with references into the NZ Bkpr magazine and the NBA minutes and newspapers of the time.

So last week I put two other incidents/subjects into a coherent timeline with the above:

  1. Garnie Fraser, the NBA General Secretary, wrote some scathing letters to the Minister through this period, as the MInister dove for cover but ultimately had to acknowledge his responsibility. And the timing I aligned? Garnie Fraser was hospitalised suddenly from Feb to Apr 1934. It looks to me that he worked and worried and wrote snarky letters for the NBA until it made him sick. And he died in August of the first year of the HMA, after all that aggravation.
  2. And the second timing realisation? We’ve just taken our caravan from Tauranga down to Wellington, staying in the Tihoi Tavern carpark on the way. That is that highway that runs down the western side of Lake Taupo. Holyoake and another parliamentary mate (actually, the mate’s son) bought 6000 hectares from Forest Products, planning to turn it into farms. And made the town of Kenloch.
And apparently, there are those who say he didn’t deal well with the conflict of interest in making sure the area was well serviced, including that highway…

And it was all through 1953 that the purchase was going through! He wrote memos, having his agricultural ministry staff do all the costings, estimates, evaluations of the land, all really somewhat of an abuse of power! So all through 1953 - the same year that he was inadequately managing the legislative requirements of the beekeepers!

Yes, I have a lot more to dig out of this period. It took the industry from about 1946, when the ideas of managing the sales and exports of honey were pretty much agreed by the industry, up until 1956 or so, before it finally got sorted out and done the way it should have in the beginning!
  • Good Info
Reactions: Gerrit