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Auckland's milk district will be greatly increased in size when the Government's new system of control comes Into operation in the middle of August. To the west the outer suburbs of New Lynn, Glen Eden and Henderson and places as far away as Piha will be brought in, to the north the boundaries will be extended to include all the coastal beach resorts and portions of the Waitemata County, to the east Waiheke Island will be included and to the south Otahuhu, Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Papakura and parts of the Manukau County will come under control.

This extended territory . will be administered by a regional milk board of seven members, all representatives of local authorities. In addition, representatives of the Health Department and the Agriculture Department will have the right to attend the meetings, but not to vote. Three of the elected members will represent the City Council and four the suburban bodies.

Already a Central Milk Council and a special Government Department known as the Miik Marketing Division have been set up in Wellington. Also a price structure has been created under which provision is made for subsidies to dairymen on town milk supply at different periods of the year.

Scope of New Powers

Wide powers will be conferred on the new milk boards elected on August 14. They will have authority to buy milk, treat and sell milk, purchase existing treating houses or build new ones, buy out vendors and, if they desire, service customers. There is, apparently, nothing to prevent the boards extending their operations in almost any direction.

In purchasing milk the boards will be subject to one restriction — that they must buy from associations of producers approved by the Milk Marketing Division. Only if particular associations fail to supply sufficient milk will the boards be entitled to buy outside the associations.

Treatment of milk will be one of the major issues for early consideration. It appears to be the desire of the Government that the new boards should establish treatment systems, and the Central Milk Council is armed with powers to order them to act in this direction. In Auckland opinions are by no means unanimous on the desirability of treating all milk and the Metropolitan Milk Council has contrived, probably prudently as well as skilfully, to prevent this becoming a serious bone of contention.

After being chairman of the council for eight and a half years, Mr. I. J. Goldstine says it would be impossible to predict what decision would be reached if the question were forced to a vote before a milk authority in Auckland. On the rival merits of private or public enterprise he is, however, emphatic. "I say unhesitatingly that I can see no reason for interfering_ with private enterprise, which has, in my opinion, done a fine job throughout the difficult war years," he says. That considerable improvement could be made in existing treatment houses Mr. Goldstine does not deny, but he says that private enterprise cannot be fairly blamed for any shortcomings which exist to-day. Apart from the difficulties created by the war, the companies have had no security of tenure while the future of the milk industry has been veiled in obscurity. In such circumstances no industry could be expected to embark on heavy expenditure for buildings and purchase of costly plant. .....

Auckland's Advantage

Mr. Goldstine says that the new board will have as one of its first tasks the defining of its policy on this question. It and the boards in the other centres could, however, be compelled to undertake treatment of milk if the Central Milk Council in "Wellington decided to exercise its authority. In two of the centres, Christchurch and Dunedin, milk distribution will be under regional control for the first time, so therefore the boards in those areas will probably have their hands fairly full with a variety of duties. Auckland will at least have, the advantage that, as a result of the work of the Metropolitan Milk Council, much has been done to improve conditions for all engaged in the milk business, quality has been raised, the industry has been rationalised, and consumers have been given the benefit of steady prices. There is, however, a task of some magnitude for the milk board when it comes into- being. Perhaps it may judge that the policy of the outgoing council in pursuing progress' by gradual steps was a wise l one and. that the best reforms are those secured by co-operation, combined with a willingness to share sacrifices.

Published by Arrangement

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Bibliographic details

NEW MILK BOARDS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 175, 26 July 1945

Word Count

NEW MILK BOARDS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 175, 26 July 1945

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