Milk firm to be struck off register
A Hokitika man has no idea why his address was falsely used by a dairy food company linked to a recall of infant milk formula in Hong Kong.
Long-time West Coast resident Brian Towers received mail for Yan Zhao, director of the Wisdom Dairy company, about six weeks ago.
Wisdom Dairy's 0-6 month infant formula was recalled by Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety on September 4 because of low iodine levels, which put babies' health at risk.
The New Zealand Companies Office began investigating Wisdom Dairy last month after a complaint by a member of the public.
As a result, it planned to strike it off the Companies Register for supplying false information, a Business, Innovation and Employment Ministry spokesman said.
According to the Companies Office, Wisdom Dairy director Yan Zhao claimed Towers' address in Hokitika was his own.
"Whether he just picked my address out of thin air, I don't know," Towers said.
Towers received mail from a government department for Zhao and Wisdom Dairy Ltd but returned it to the Post Office.
Another man, Owen Xing, answered Zhao's listed cellphone number.
He had that number for at least three years and had no knowledge of Zhao or the company.
The company's registered address of Omakau, Central Otago, was also false.
Beckers Transport occupied the section and its director, Bruce Robertson, said it had no links to Wisdom Dairy.
He complained to the Companies Office once media alerted him to the issue last week.
Wisdom Dairy became a registered company in 2008 and planned to change to an Auckland address today but that would not halt action to strike it off, the ministry said.
According to neighbours, a Chinese man and woman live at that North Shore address but their links to the company were unknown and they were unable to be contacted yesterday.
The company's shareholder details also appeared to be false.
One was an Australian company, Fonta Milk Industries Ltd, which allegedly was registered in Victoria, but records showed no such company existed.
Another shareholder was CEDA Nutrient Ltd, which was allegedly registered to an Auckland address but was not on the Companies Office register.
Apart from Zhao, the remaining shareholder was Andrew Bamu, who gave an Omakau address, which had been home to a Central Otago couple for the past about 16 years.
They told The Press it was "a bit creepy" their address had been falsely used by a random company.
Wisdom Dairy's website stated it was a private company operating in New Zealand and specialised in the development of infant milk formula.
"It has well established business relationships with New Zealand's key dairy producers."
It noted New Zealand had strict dairy quality controls.
"You can be assured of the integrity and quality of Wisdom Dairy products."
- © Fairfax NZ News