Tuesday, 16 November 2021 13:21

Tatua director resigns over offensive social media post

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
A Tatua director has resigned after posting an offensive social media post relating to Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. A Tatua director has resigned after posting an offensive social media post relating to Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

A long serving director of Waikato milk processor Tatua Co-operative Dairy has resigned after an offensive social media post relating to Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

Ross Townshend, an independent director of Tatua since 2009 and a former agribusiness leader, is no longer on the board, chairman Steve Allen confirmed today.

Allen says he will be contacting Mahuta’s office “to provide an explanation and a personal apology”.

In a Facebook post made on November 9, Townshend makes disparaging remarks about Mahuta’s traditional tattoo (moko) and how it may be perceived during her 17-day overseas trip that began last Thursday.

Mahuta was in Australia last week. She is also visiting Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, the US and Canada.

In UAE she will support New Zealand's exhibition at Expo 2020 and host the festival of indigenous and tribal ideas Te Aratini.

Mahuta, the MP for Hauraki-Waikato and the Minister of Local Government, is also spearheading the Three Waters reforms that is facing a public backlash.

Townshend is a former executive of the NZ Dairy Group and held international senior executive positions within the meat, packaging, food and wool industries. He is a food technologist by background.

One of his Facebook posts says he was the co-ordinator of the Groundswell protest in July this year.

Allen says on Monday evening, Townshend’s “highly inappropriate messaging on social media in relation to a Minister of Parliament” was brought to his attention.

“Mr Townshend’s personal views and the way he chose to express them are incompatible with Tatua’s culture and values.

“Therefore, his actions left me with no other course of action than to accept his resignation on behalf of the Tatua board of directors.”

Allen says over the 25 years that he has been involved as a director of Tatua, including 18 years as chairman, the company has had mutually respectful and warm relationships with ministers and government officials of all parties.

“We also have incredibly good and long-standing relationships with our community, including local iwi.

“An incident of such offensive disrespect is simply not who we are,” says Allen.

More like this

Tatua trick

OPINION: How does Tatua do it, year in, year out?

Editorial: Co-op power!

OPINION: Think co-operatives and some of our biggest agribusiness companies – Fonterra, Zespri, Alliance Group, Silver Fern Farms, Farmlands, LIC, Ballance, Ravensdown and Tatua – come to mind.

Nasty surprise

The late expansion of Three Waters to Five by Minister Nanaia Mahuta seems to have caught her own Cabinet colleagues out, with even the Prime Minister's office taking a while to get its spin straight on this one.

Featured

Maui Milk blames supply/demand imbalance

Sheep milk processor Maui Milk says it’s one of many companies being impacted by the imbalance between supply and demand for New Zealand sheep dairy products.

Feds offer support for Maui Milk suppliers

Federated Farmers is arranging support for a small group of dairy sheep farmers in the North Island, who were told this week to stop milking by processor, Maui Milk.

National

Weather back to normal?

MetService meteorologist James Millward says the country’s weather patterns are now on a much more even footing.

Dealing with SNAs

As Associate Minister for Agriculture and the Environment, Andrew Hoggard has a number of delegations to focus on.

Hoggard's double Act

ACT MP Andrew Hoggard may no longer be hands-on every day at his dairy farm at Kiwitea in the Manawatu,…

Machinery & Products

Kubota tests diesel engines

Kubota last month used the UK LAMMA Show to test the water with its new 200hp, four-cylinder 09-series diesel engines.

Stone collection made easier

Usually a task given to higher horsepower tractors, stone picking looks like its moved down the horsepower charts, to anyone…

A very handy piece

Handypiece is a fully portable shearing handpiece being used by thousands of farmers and ag workers, in diverse roles across…

Killing weed seeds in a single pass

John Deere's X-Series Combine Harvesters can now be complemented by the advanced weed control capability of Redekop’s Seed Control Unit…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Feds power!

OPINION: Your canine crusader reckons no single lobby group has had a bigger turnaround in fortunes than Federated Farmers since…

The DCM award

OPINION: This old mutt suggests the 'don't come Monday' (DCM) award (in other words, resign) must go to the heartless,…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter