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ApiNZ Levy Proposal

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Everything posted by ApiNZ Levy Proposal

  1. The Commodity Levy vote is closed and the votes have been counted. We advise that commercial beekeepers have voted not to support the introduction of a honey levy with only 23.56% voting for the introduction of a commodity levy. This is not the outcome we wanted to see and we believe it will set back the development of our industry. But we understand that affordability is a very real issue for commercial beekeepers at this time, with many beekeepers not wanting to add any extra costs when their revenues are under pressure. Read our media release here and for the full breakdown of results https://apinz.org.nz/beekeepers-commodity-levy-2/
  2. ApiNZ are working with MPI on this. We have referred a number of cases of this type of activity to MPI recently. MPI have been very proactive in reminding Australian operators the rules against importing honey into New Zealand. Wherever instances of this type of activity are discovered, they should be referred to MPI's Compliance team. Food.Compliance@mpi.govt.nz
  3. @potz This is the article you refer to: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/110768404/mpi-to-advise-government-on-new-biosecurity-levy This has nothing to do with this Commodity Levy. Government is not considering changes to commodity levies as part of this review. What this does tell us is that Government expects us to be joined up and able to contribute if and when a biosecurity event takes place. At present our sector is fragmented and does not have access to its own pool of funding, hence the need for this levy and effective industry representation
  4. @Trevor Gillbanks Good question. This would take place through natural attrition. That is, if the levy is voted in we will evaluate vacant Board positions as they fall due. Ultimately the Board will be "levy compliant" and as we have discussed well ahead of the first levy payments being due.
  5. @nikki watts Yes Board representatives put together investment proposals. These are then voted on by levy payers. There are over 30 other commodity levies in the country, this is fairly standard practice. The Commodity Levies Act has strong accountability mechanisms built into it. We do recommend you read the material before you vote. There is comprehensive information on our website www.apinz.org.nz/levy In the event of a ‘Yes’ vote, the levy payers will be asked to vote and elect all five commercial representatives on the Board (and who would be confirmed at the 2020 AGM). ApiNZ has taken this approach as we wanted to ensure a fully transparent and accountable process that would ensure the levy payers have the opportunity to vote for their preferred candidates to sit on the new Board.
  6. In the event of a ‘Yes’ vote, the levy payers will be asked to vote and elect all five commercial representatives on the Board (and who would be confirmed at the 2020 AGM). ApiNZ has taken this approach as we wanted to ensure a fully transparent and accountable process that would ensure the levy payers have the opportunity to vote for their preferred candidates to sit on the new Board.
  7. @Ali there is no levy in place yet. This is the vote in front of us. Any future vote to increase the levy would be by simple majority vote. Again I refer you to consultation material or call MPI to discuss.
  8. @Ali This is as clear as you will get Under the Commodity Levies Act the vote must pass two hurdles. First, more than 50% of those that vote must vote yes. Second, those 'yes' votes must represent more than 50% of all the hives declared by those who voted. Once again I repeat, this is a requirement of the Act. ALL Commodity Levy votes are run like this, all 33 of them. Let me explain further. If say 1000 beekeepers vote and between them they have 50,000 hives, then more than 500 have to vote yes. IF that hurdle is passed, THEN they also have to own AT LEAST 25,000 hives. Have you looked at your voting form yet? You will see you have to fill in two fields. Once is a simple 'yes' 'no' the second is a declaration of hive numbers. For the vote to proceed both of those metrics must be more than 50%. This is also know as a majority Not sure I can assist further with this one. If you are still confused you could call MPI and ask how Commodity Act voting works. Again I would encourage you to read consultation material
  9. @Ali What is patently dishonest is anyone trying to represent "more that 50%" as anything other than a majority. It is unclear to me how we can put this any more simply than stated above. The Commodity Levies Act requires a majority of support of voters before a levy order can be passed. Period. Naturally we cannot count the votes of those that don't vote. I'm unaware of any vote across the world that attempts to count the vote of those who do not vote.
  10. @Ali Yes that is an AGM rule. THAT IS NOT A COMMODITY LEVY RULE. In the event that the levy is in place, ALL levy payers will have the opportunity to vote, whether at the AGM or not. As has been pointed out by numerous commentators, ApiNZ will change considerably in the event that the levy is passed. The investment of and accounting for levy funds is outlined in legislation. Again this was made clear at consultation meetings.
  11. @Ali Once again you appear very confused. I do recommend that you take the time to read the levy material. It is clear that you are putting a lot of time into thinking about your vote! Did you attend a consultation meeting? This was explained at each of those. Under the Commodity Levies Act the vote must pass two hurdles. First, more than 50% of those that vote must vote yes. Second, those 'yes' votes must represent more than 50% of all the hives declared by those who voted. Once again I repeat, this is a requirement of the Act. ALL Commodity Levy votes are run like this, all 33 of them. Let me explain further. If say 1000 beekeepers vote and between them they have 50,000 hives, then more than 500 have to vote yes. IF that hurdle is passed, THEN they also have to own AT LEAST 25,000 hives. Once again, this is all clearly outlined in the material on our website: www.apinz.org.nz/levy
  12. @Bushy I'm afraid you are very confused. There are strong rules around the voting for the use of commodity levy funds, these are outlined in law. Your earlier point about the Board being able to raise the Commodity Levy as soon as it wants remains quite wrong
  13. @Trevor Gillbanks Yes it is untrue. ApiNZ stands by its consultation on this levy. The fact that so many individuals have tried to form their own groups does not distract from the extensive consultation that ApiNZ has undertaken. One of the key benefits of the levy is to bring this industry together. It is true to say that in the absence of a levy industry will certainly remain fractured.
  14. @Bushy to me "newly elected board members" implies just that. My words, not yours. I am well aware of ApiNZ's AGM rules. I am also well aware of Commodity Act requirements that state that ONLY by MAJORITY vote of LEVY payers can the levy be raised. To say that the ApiNZ Board will attempt to raise the levy at the 2020 AGM (with it just having come in) is plain wrong. I do encourage you to read the consultation material. There is also a lot about the Commodity Levies Act on line if you are interested
  15. @Bushy "Newly elected board members under a new levy voter system will only become official after the 2020 AGM, which incidentally is about an hour after ApiNZ can officially take their first vote on increasing the levy from 10to 15 cents" This is flat out wrong. The levy can only be increased to 15c on the event that more than 50% of levy payers vote for an increase. The view that ApiNZ's Board can somehow do this without asking levy payers is simply not true. I encourage you to read our website www.apinz.org.nz/levy for further information
  16. @Trevor Gillbanks "The report stresses there must be unification. From the outset, the ApiNZ Board has not tried to communicate with the other beekeeping groups and seems to prefer that they will outlast the other groups and become the lead industry body." This is patently untrue. ApiNZ's Board worked hard t communicate across all groups and across all beekeepers. We have numerous letters and e-mails to other groups. At the end of the day all beekeepers could read the journal, our extensive material, our dedicated website, attend a consultation meeting or read this forum. We appreciate that people have different views on the levy itself. But spreading untruth's does not enhance the debate
  17. @Trevor Gillbanks We are on this forum to discuss the levy, not argue about poor past behavior. Providing a contact list to whoever wrote that fraudulent letter still facilitates the sending of that letter, regardless of its author. However, industry has far bigger issues in front of it right now, including this vote.
  18. @Trevor Gillbanks regardless of where the information came from that e-mail broke a number of laws. Good to have SNI confirm they are the author of that letter and associated websites. That said, this forum is to discuss the levy and how it will benefit our industry.
  19. @Trevor Gillbanks I'm afraid you are confused about voting, there has not been any vote for the levy before the one that is taking place now. Really not sure what you are on about there. Yes SNI were sent a letter from lawyers. This was after an illegal copy of the database was used to spread false information. ApiNZ's contact details were also used fraudulently. That, incidentally broke a number of laws at the time, we chose not to take further action. ALL beekeepers have been invited to contribute. 9 meetings across the country, numerous smaller meetings and workshops, a dedicated website and e-mail address. ApiNZ has enjoyed engagement with beekeepers via these forums. If none of these methods of communication suited it would have been good to have known that at the time. We received numerous invitations to front groups in Dunedin, Northland, Canterbury and Nelson (to name a few) and fronted them all. It is therefore very misleading to claim your group was not consulted.
  20. @Trevor Gillbanks " But ApiNZ will certainly not engage with NZ Beekeeping Inc or SNI Beekeeping Inc. I hope a strong No.vote will encourage ApiNZ to talk to the other groups, and come to some sort of compromise." This is plain untrue. We have written to NZ Beekeeping on numerous occasions asking them to meet and discuss the levy. These invites were all declined. ApiNZ first started scoping and designing this levy around 18 months ago, there were numerous opportunities to contribute and input into levy design. NZ Beekeeping sent representatives to each and every levy consultation meeting. No one can deny they have had the opportunity to contribute to the design and scope of this levy
  21. @tommy dave There is absolutely no way we can give voting numbers. This process is being run independently by ElectioNZ. So to answer your questions simply, no! Weighted voting on levy investment is a long talked about feature of this levy and has been outlined in both consultation material and on our website. I'm not sure if you managed to make one of the road show meetings, but it was discussed there at some length also. We do encourage people to read the material on our website. www.apinz.org.nz/levy
  22. @olbe Please read our levy website www.apinz.org.nz/levy This explains in detail how the levy will be run. In no material do we refer to any figure of "around $60" to become a member of ApiNZ. Yes levy payers become members (this is a feature of the Commodity Levies Act) But all levy money paid becomes just that, levy funds, to be invested in line with levy payer wishes. All levies require administration, we run a very lean ship here at ApiNZ
  23. @olbe it is not uncommon to have voter turnouts as low as 30%, many other levies have experienced this and now operate very successful organisations. Far from being "eggs". That said, we are expecting a higher turnout for this vote. As an aside, eggs in New Zealand are supported by a levy, it is rated on a per-chick basis.
  24. @Ali Only if the majority of voters vote for it. We cannot compel a levy, hence asking for beekeeper support by way of vote. We do encourage voters to read the material on our website www.apinz.org.nz/levy
  25. @Ali There is certainly a vote on at present. You can find details here: www.apinz.org.nz/levy ApiNZ does not have the powers to make a levy compulsory.
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