PM checks out Daltons
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.
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.