PM checks out Dal­tons

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By ABBY BROWN

Prime Min­is­ter John Key has had a first hand look at one of Mata­mata’s in­ter­na­tion­ally suc­cess­ful busi­nesses.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple don’t know that Dal­tons is a com­pany with in­ter­na­tional reach and it is im­por­tant that the Prime Min­is­ter knows that it is,’’ Waikato MP Lind­say Tisch said as part of the show and tell was held last Wed­nes­day.

‘‘ It is a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to eco­nomic growth and em­ploys 75 peo­ple which makes it a big em­ployer in the area.’’

Key was shown around the fer­tiliser fac­tory, in­clud­ing the ro­botic pack­ag­ing ma­chines, by Tisch and Dal­tons owner Neil Dal­ton.

Key said he was im­pressed by the fa­cil­ity.

‘‘ It is great to see a large em­ployer do­ing so well,’’ he said.

When he spoke to the fac­tory work­ers he said he was con­fi­dent about the econ­omy. He felt there would be very low in­fla­tion, in­ter­est rates and petrol prices over the next cou­ple of years.

‘‘ The av­er­age per­son spends most of what they earn, although some do try to save, and when they are not spend­ing so much money on things like petrol they spend it on other things which is good news for you.’’

John and Fran­cie Dal­ton es­tab­lished Dal­tons in 1947. The busi­ness started out pro­vid­ing shin­gle for milk tanker roads. Dal­tons moved to its cur­rent site on Hin­uera Rd in 1967 and started fo­cus­ing on wash­ing and

screen­ing sand and a by prod­uct, pumice, led them down the hor­ti­cul­tural path to pro­vid­ing fer­tiliser, Dal­ton said.

Tisch also took the Prime Min­is­ter to the Zea­long Tea Es­tate in Gor­don­ton and a school in Po­keno as part of his tour through the Waikato elec­torate.

Key said mov­ing south of New Zealand’s big­gest city and into the Waikato ought to be a ‘‘se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion’’ for buy­ers strug­gling to find the cash for Auck­land homes.

‘‘They pay less for their home so ob­vi­ously they’re go­ing to pay more to com­mute. It’s a trade off that peo­ple de­cide all around the world and it will give them a far higher qual­ity of home at a lower price,’’ he said.

Key said the op­tion would be par­tic­u­larly at­trac­tive to those who could work from home.

He added that the Waikato Ex­press­way made it a ‘‘re­ally le­git­i­mate op­tion, es­pe­cially for peo­ple who work in the south­ern part of [Auck­land] city’’.

But whether or not peo­ple heeded his ad­vice, the Prime Min­is­ter pre­dicted that the flood of those choos­ing to live on the out­skirts of Auck­land was un­likely to slow.

His words come as of­fi­cial chan­nels sig­nal more un­ease over the state of su­per-city house prices. Re­serve Bank Gover­nor Graeme Wheeler said last week that he was con­cerned about a ‘‘sharp cor­rec­tion, lead­ing to fi­nan­cial in­sta­bil­ity’’.

Wheeler said the Re­serve Bank would be speak­ing more about the hous­ing mar­ket over the next few months, but gave no clues as to what that might mean for home­own­ers.

Key’s pos­i­tiv­ity didn’t stop with the Waikato hous­ing mar­ket, how­ever. He said the bounce in Fon­terra’s Glob­alDairyTrade (GDT) prices were a good sign for the re­gion.

De­spite ASB ru­ral econ­o­mist Nathan Penny warn­ing that the lift was a ‘‘dou­ble-edged sword’’ as it showed un­cer­tainty about pro­duc­tion lev­els com­ing out of New Zealand, Key re­mained pos­i­tive. He said he was ‘‘one of the few who has been vaguely op­ti­mistic’’ about dairy prices, which had been pushed down due to un­usual global fac­tors and a high dollar last year. Key pre­dicted a lower ex­change rate, and grow­ing global de­mand would even­tu­ally flow through to a higher pay­out from Fon­terra for dairy farm­ers.

Photo: ABBY BROWN

Pho­tos: ABBY BROWN

CHECK­ING PROD­UCT: Prime Min­is­ter John Key checks out some of the prod­uct pro­duced by Dal­tons.

MEET­ING STAFF: Above, Prime Min­is­ter John Key met Dal­tons staff when he stopped by for a visit last week. Left, IM­PRESSED PM: Waikato MP Lind­say Tisch, Prime Min­is­ter John Key and Neil Dal­ton at Dal­tons fer­tiliser fac­tory.

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