Rod Oram

From Whangarei down to Invercargill this week Fonterra’s farmer-shareholders went looking for answers from their co-op’s directors. Its mediocre performance, stagnant dividend and share price, large write-down in China, erosion of equity, and their desire to change boardroom culture and leadership were top of their questions.

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Rod Oram delves behind the scenes of Fonterra's Beingmate debacle in this week's column. He finds the board will have to make a momentous decision that has parallels with Fletcher Building's eventual removal of its CEO and retirement of its Chairman.

Rod Oram writes in this week's column about the Productivity Commission's looming draft report on how to move to a low emissions economy, particularly now it has more ambitious terms of reference under the new Government.

When it comes to measuring the digital capability of countries, New Zealand is in a small, elite category. We rank with only Singapore and the UAE in the “Stand Out” category at the top of the Digital Planet analysis by US academics.

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Rod Oram has followed a trail of bad management decisions and poor governance to discover why Fonterra is staring down the barrel of a massive writedown on its investment in Beingmate. He raises questions about the role of Fonterra's auditor, PwC, and a stifled culture of debate on its board.

Rod Oram argues in his weekly column that there's never been a better time to build a high productivity and high wage economy, but there's also a risk the current good times will allow complacency to lock in New Zealand's bad habits.

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For four days over the last weekend, I travelled with friends down from Auckland through the Waikato and King Country to Taranaki, seeking insights from history and hope for the future. Our journey was an early celebration of Waitangi Day, anguish, reconciliation and all.

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Beingmate, Fonterra's troubled investment in China, is blaming the co-op for its losses, according to a formal letter Beingmate has reportedly sent to Chinese financial regulators in response to their enquiries.