1955: New Zealand Honey Marketing Authority
February 3, 2019
Political corruption over control of produce has a long, long, tradition in New Zealand. We’re a land of milk and honey and both of these are the prize in a never-ending mafia turf war for oligopolistic control.
The New Zealand Honey Marketing Authority (HMA,) Established 1955
The HMA ruled honey for 30 years until Roger Douglas scrapped the communist commissariat in the first term of Labour 4.0. The HMA Mafia was nothing new though, just a restructuring guise of the same old story. The 1955 mafia re-branding allowed Sydney Holland’s new National Government to get their grip on the honey dipper as well as the black rod and mace. Hey- he flat out obliterated the Legislative Chamber so splintering the HMA Stasi from the PPMD (Primary Producers Marketing Division) Honeycops ain’t no thing.
Post Labour 4.0
Rather than peaceful pollination in a free market though, various Honey Mafia clades formed up to battle one another or align. Once again Honey Warlords do battle to seize state power and reduce their foes to the market share they can get selling old pickle jars of honey from the back of their old utes or at farmers’ markets.
Comvita is the big one with heavy-hitting corporate staff and listed stock. Probably wants to crush the little dealers and be to honey what Fonterra is to milk. The previous National Government was certainly teasing this along but now that Labour 6.0 have the black rod and mace they want Sauron’s One Honey Dipper to Rule Them All too!
Labour 6.0 Minister of “Honey Safety,” Damien O’Connor, made the Al Capone sudden move to alchemically re-define manuka honey beyond the reach of perhaps any Honey Gang but the powerful Comvita Family. This happened in February 2018.
Since 5 February 2018, all exported mānuka honey must meet the mānuka honey science definition to test that it is authentic.- MPI
At once, the numerous but less powerful Honey Families and their wizards summoned The Council of Elrond and filed papers with the Honey High Court. Touche Sauron! The tension and brinkmanship built up in early 2018….
The Honey Council of Elrond, January 2018
* Wizard Kos of the Apiculture Covern regretted that Lord Damien’s important regulatory capture was being slowed down by the Honey High Court action.
* Lord O’Connor himself threatened that, “any legal action would be an unfortunate backwards step for an industry that has been struggling with issues of integrity in the export market.”¹
* Dethroned Honey Lord of the Nats² said, “It wasn’t me, we never did this, we were only playing. Blame Labour, I’m out of this. Out!”
* John Rawcliffe, Chief of the UMF Honey Hobbits and his Wizard Terry Baggins put up a plucky fight. “Respect our lawyers, they are like nuclear weapons, I’ve got em ’cause everyone else has. But as soon as you use them they screw everything up,” he kinda said.³
* “Trifle with the power of UNIQUE MANUKA FACTOR at your own risk,” added Wizard Baggins.
Then, in the nick of time, Lord Damien backed away from the Honey Hobbits’ show of force and put his regulatory bee smoker down for the time being. “Just testing,” he quipped, dodging the otherwise imminent Honey High Court battle.
Next, within days, Lord Damien summoned a GREX Demon4 and went right ahead and did it anyway. Legal consequence free! As for 5 February, the new alchemically re-defined manuka honey was set. The industry was now set to be in the pockets of Labour 6.0’s friends; A monopoly had been created. And 2018 has been a very bad year for the non-protected honey players.
What’s to happen next in New Zealand Honey Corruption History? I’m sure with the new Labour 6.0 State this sticky battle is just beginning. Plenty more mixed metaphores about mafia and Lord of the Rings to come! And that’s to say nothing of the turf war with the Australian Manuka Mafia families who are battling over the use of the trade name. Nor, the Manuka Maori Tribes who wish to claim all that honey as their exclusive taonga (even though until 1839 there were no honey bees even in New Zealand!)
Nor is this to explore the entire bullshit fantasy religion of most of these Honey Mafia families about what manuka honey can do. On the one hand they claim it has magic healing properties and drop celebrity names as devoted consumers which jacks up the price. On the other hand, they use cautious wording so as not to be sued for making false and superstitious claims about medicinal properties for which there is no scientific evidence. Double-think marketing, honey.
What an absolute hive of nauseating political scrapping this all has degenerated into. Sure am glad I’m not in this industry!
- The issues of integrity seem to be PR work of talented marketers with a purse and capability highly similar to that of the Comvita Family. There is a rumour in UK papers that 10,000 tonnes pa of manuka honey is consumed globally yet only 1,700 tonnes is produced. This is repeated and repeated yet the source, seemingly The Grocer magazine, appears only to cite “According to New Zealand’s leading manuka association.” Who is this anonymous authority? Wizard Kos’ Covern is strongly suspected but it’s not a clear nick.
2. David Bennett
3. Actually a line from I movie I like but I know that’s what he meant
4. GREX: General Export Requirements for Bee Products; Some newly passed law or regulation which allows The State to do what it likes to whoever it likes without any oversight from the legislative branch of government- ie the High Court
Ref. Honey tin image. One, I think, from the old Beeville Anarchist community that hated this nonsense and battled the Commisariat of the day: longwhitekid.wordpress.com
Ref. Stamp duty stamp, aka slave tattoo: nzrevenues.co.nz
Ref. Happier times, the 2016 Honey Symposium and Peace Summit had all the Mafia Families being really nice to each other. They even made a family video full of the different Dons and Honey Wizards mentioning how well they got along; Youtube
Beekeepers take MPI to high court over mānuka honey standard; Stuff
MPI’s definition of mānuka honey changed on eve of legal challenge from beekeepers; Stuff