20 Jul 2015

Māori dairy corporation cuts costs

7:21 am on 20 July 2015

A Māori corporate dairy farmer says it is having to cut costs as dairy prices plunge.

Dairy prices fell by nearly 11 percent last week, and Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy said he did not see such a big fall coming.

Parininihi ki Waitōtara (PKW) is a Māori Incorporation based in Taranaki, which owns 20,000 hectares of dairy land.

Chief executive Dion Tuuta said if global dairy prices did not improve and the business was faced with current prices for the rest of the season, it would have a significant impact on its farms' profitability for the year.

"We've had to look at our budgets this year, cut out costs, we've had to look at deferring projects that we'd originally planned, some capital expenditure's been deferred.

"If global dairy prices don't improve and we're faced with the current crisis for the rest of the season, then it will have a significant impact on our farm's profitability for this current year. If that stays the same for a couple of years, it'll be quite damaging to a lot of farmers."

Mr Tuuta of Ngāti Mutunga said Parininihi ki Waitōtara was luckier than many farmers as it had diversified income streams such as land-leasing and lobster business streams so it would be able to offset any losses in the short-term.