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Russia - New Zealand News
Russian door ‘not shut on New Zealand’ - Interview with Stuart Prior Print E-mail

Nigel Stirling, AgriHQ, New Zealand, 24 September 2013 - HOPE REMAINS: Former ambassador and diplomat Stuart prior says NZ still has friends in Moscow but few of them are in government circles, as was evident during Fonterra’s recent botulism scare. Photo: Mark Coote
Stuart Prior was New Zealand’s man in Moscow in the early 2000s. He was instrumental in getting Russia to the table for historic free-trade talks in 2010. He tells Nigel Stirling why those talks have hit a brick wall and why it’s NZ’s loss.

Fonterra ban in Russia has been lifted, partially Print E-mail - 06.09.2013, Роспотребнадзор снял временные ограничения на импорт и продажу в России продукции новозеландской компании Fonterra, крупнейшего в мире экспортера молочных продуктов. Как сообщает сайт ведомства, это решение принято после анализа информации Министерства первичных отраслей Новой Зеландии, которую передало новозеландское посольство.

Анализы показали, что обнаруженные в белково-сывороточном концентрате Fonterra бактерии не являются опасными для жизни Clostridium botulinum, а относятся к условно-патогенным Clostridium sporogenes и не продуцируют ботулинический токсин. В конце августа об этом объявил новозеландский регулятор сельского хозяйства — министерство добывающей промышленности (MPI). Роспотребнадзор согласился с этими выводами и проинформировал о своем решении свои региональные управления и ФТС. Запрет на продукцию Fonterra был введен в начале августа 2013 г.

Fonterra botulism crisis was false alarm Print E-mail

28 August 2013 The New Zealand Herald, The Ministry for Primary Industries said it had received results confirming that the bacteria found in the whey protein concentrate (WPC) manufactured by Fonterra was not the botulism-causing clostridium botulinum, the ministry said.

"The organism is confirmed as Clostridium sporogenes. It is therefore not capable of producing botulism causing toxins,'' the ministry said in a statement.

"There are no known food safety issues associated with Clostridium sporogenes, although at elevated levels certain strains may be associated with food spoilage,'' it said.

"When MPI received information from Fonterra on August 2 that it had detected Clostridium botulinum in some of its products, I immediately adopted a precautionary approach to protect consumers both here and overseas,'' acting director-general Scott Gallacher said in a statement.

New Zealand ministers - update on Russia trade Print E-mail

Tim Groser, Nathan Guy

14 August, 2013 - Update on Russia trade - Trade Minister Tim Groser and Primary Industries Nathan Guy say that officials are working closely with Russian authorities to provide the reassurance they need over New Zealand dairy products.

“Russia has formally notified New Zealand of a temporary restriction of dairy imports from 61 of the 83 dairy plants approved for export to Russia,” says Mr Groser.

“Overnight, New Zealand officials in Moscow have confirmed that the restriction is now also being applied by Kazakhstan and Belarus. As the three countries are in a Customs Union, this is not unexpected.”

Work needs to be done on Russian relations - ex diplomat Print E-mail

15 August 2013 Radio NZ - A trade advisor says the New Zealand Government has some work to do to repair and improve the relationship with Russia following the damage done by the Fonterra botulism scare. Russia, along with Kazakhstan and Belarus, has suspended imports of Fonterra dairy products or ingredients from most of its facilities licenced to export there.

That's despite Fonterra's assurance that it has supplied none of the contaminated whey protein concentrate, or products containing it, to those markets. The reaction from those three countries is the toughest market response so far and goes beyond China's action, which is restricted to stopping imports of Fonterra whey protein concentrate and base powder.

Stuart Prior is a former ambassador to Moscow who runs a consultancy connecting businesses with that part of the world. He's also honorary consul for Belarus.

New Zealander Adams wins 4th women's shot put gold at worlds in Russia Print E-mail

MOSCOW — Associated Press, 13 August 2013 - Olympic champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand won the shot put Monday, becoming the first woman to capture four straight individual titles at the world championships.

Adams won with a toss of 68 feet, 6 inches. She has now won 38 straight events and has won every major championship at least twice.

Fonterra dairy products ban in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan could cost $133m Print E-mail

August 13, 2013 Source: ONE News

A ban on Fonterra products by Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus following a contamination scare could cost the company tens of millions of dollars.

The dairy giant publicly announced on August 3 a product it produces for infant formula, beverages and animal feed - a concentrated whey product - was potentially contaminated with a bacteria linked to botulism.

Trade Minister Tim Groser's office today confirmed the three former Soviet states had banned all Fonterra dairy products, despite none of the potentially affected product being shipped there.

Dairy exports in the three countries are worth $133 million a year.


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Russia - New Zealand Video

To see the video of Stuart Prior talking to New Zealand TV, Nov 2010, about Russia - New Zealand Free Trade Agreement please go to

Russia - New Zealand Quotes

The first European to find NZ was a Dutch who was looking for smthing else. It takes its name from a province of Holland to which it does not bear the remotest likeness, and is usually regarded as the antipodes of England, but is not. Taken possession of by an English navigator, whose action was reversed by his country's rulers, it was only annexed by the English Government which did not want it, to keep it from the French who didW.P.Reeves, 1898

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Russia - New Zealand History

Every day that we were there the Zealanders would arrive at our sloops at about 10 in the morning and would remain until evening. Having traded their goods they would have lunch with us. They ate our dry bread, peas, kasha and sugar with real appetite. They did not like our salt beef at all and were not great fans of the pork, nor were they able to drink our rum and wine. From time to time they would help our sailors in their work, for which the hardest workers would be rewarded with nails. Sometimes, making merry, they would give us the pleasure of watching their dances and listening to their songs. For this, about 15 men would stand in a single line. One of them, stamping his foot, would begin to sing. In mid-verse there would suddenly be a common, quite quick and wild shout, then they would lift their arms up, extend them, and let them fall, while strongly stamping their feet, distorting their whole bodies and making fierce faces. They would finish this song by going down on one knee and making a frightful, lingering laugh. Our sailors adopted their dance and song very well indeed, and on our sloop at the South Pole where the daily dangers depressed the spirit, they would sometimes cheer everybody up with their imitation (of the haka - translated by Prior Group). N.Galkin, surgeon on board the Russian vessel “Mirny” (Peaceful), during their stay in New Zealand, Queen Charlotte Sound, Russian Expedition, 1820

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