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*rHE election, for which nominations have now been called, of the new Auckland Metropolitan Milk Board, constituted under the Milk Act passed last year, marks an epoch in the history of the city's milk supply. It was in 1933 that the metropolitan area, till then served by an unregulated trade, was placed by legislation under the control of the Auckland Metropolitan Milk Council, which has supervised ever since the supply of milk for the city and neighbouring boroughs. During that time much has been done to improve the supply, and the Milk Council, now to be dissolved, deserves praise accordingly. Producers and vendors have been licensed, conditions have been laid down to which they were compelled to conform, a fair return has been guaranteed to the trade, and a high degree of.' rationalisation has been introduced into the industry. It is true that the consumer has not benefited spectacularly from this rationalisation, as no reduction in price has followed such economies as zoning and front gate delivery; but at least the price of milk has not' substantially increased, and the industry has had to absorb rising costs out of the economies which have been effected.

The Auckland public owes a debt of gratitude to the members of the Milk Council now laying down office, and to their predecessors, and particularly to its chairman, Mr. I. J. Goldstine, who since February, 1§37, has ably presided over the council's administration. It would be too much to hope, however, that the outgoing council would not leave some problems of magnitude for the incoming board to solve. In the very nature of things the old council, being a composite body on which producers, vendors and consumers all had representation, could not be expected to take as vigorous and single-minded a line, from the point of view of the consumer, as would a purely consumer board. The new board, which will be composed entirely of local body nominees, representing only consumers, and will have area of supervision considerably larger (extending as far as Papakura in the south and Henderson in the north), may be expected to take up some of the problems which are still, for various reasons, unsolved. Among the most considerable of these is the pressing one of ensuring an adequate supply of milk for the city during the autumn and winter months. With the present system of several "pools" or co-operative supply companies all competing against each other in the same area, it is only natural that each should try, as far as possible, not to be left with too much surplus milk. Such surplus must be sold at a low rate, with the result that supply falls short of demand, and in the winter Aucklanders have had to resort to using "accommodation milk," often brought long distances from farms not licensed to supply, <and not fit to produce, town milk. This is a problem that can be solved only by persuading or forcing the different "pools" to combine into pne, and the new board, in the interests of the consumer, must urgently consider how this can best be brought about.

It may be added that too much of the old council's work was done in committee. It is to be hoped that the new board will realise that it will best win public confidence in itself and in the milk supply by opening its meetings fully to the public and to the Press.

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Bibliographic details

MILK COUNCIL—OLD AND NEW, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

Word Count

MILK COUNCIL—OLD AND NEW Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

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