The End of 2002 – December 31, 2002

Yet again I need to apologise for my lack of updates.

Since my last post, I launched myself back into the work force by taking a 3 month contract role at Fonterra, the newly merged venture cooperatively owned by the dairy farmers of New Zealand.

Fonterra is one of the top ten dairy companies in the world. It is the leading exporter of dairy products and is responsible for a third of international dairy trade. Fonterra has more than 20,000 employees.

My role is an Accountant in Inventory Valuation, a small team of 5 within the Ingredients division (aka NZ Milk Products). Under the recently announced structure, this division and the majority of the Wellington based roles will move to Hamilton, Palmerston North and Auckland in 2003. The new structure transitions NZMP from a stand alone unit to the heart of Fonterra's operations.

The net number of redundancies from the restructuring of the Wellington-based NZMP will be 200. Another 220 positions are being moved from Wellington to other North Island locations. Fonterra will continue have about 100 staff in Wellington.

So it’s a time of change for Fonterra and for Wellington. My contract is due to finish in February, but there may be possibilities to extend the contract until the end of the financial year in May. I am enjoying the role. It’s a new industry for me despite my rural upbringing and it’s extremely challenging due to sheer number of products (more than 1,000 product specifications) produced throughout the 29 factories in New Zealand. I’m sure it’ll take me more than 3 months to understand the entire process from the milk collection, the manufacture and packaging of products and the operation of a supply chain linking production plants in New Zealand and offshore.

So, that’s what’s happening on the work front and it’s what has kept me out of mischief since returning to Wellington. The Christmas break has been spent amongst family and the latest addition to the family, 6 week old Taylor Jane. Somewhere in between I brought my brother’s share of the house and recarpeted. We will now have to start looking for another flatmate!

After a bit of time off the bike and away from racing, I’ve finally got back into some training. My next goal is the Oceania Championships on February 23 in Mount Beauty, Melbourne. This combines as the National Aussie MTB champs so I’m sure this will be one tough race.

We’ve got our National series starting in a couple of weeks though I will not be competing at them all. Here are the race dates and venues:

Wanaka, January 11
Nelson, January 19
Levin, January 25
Tokoroa, February 9
Auckland, March 9

On the road front, there is the Bev Mays Woman’s tour in Morrinsville on February 15th and 16th. And finally the one off National MTB champs on April 13. In between there is the local Wellington King of the Forrest series:

January 12, Haywards
January 25, Whitby
February 16, Pakohe
March 30, Waitarere

So that fills up most weekends with racing over next 3 months.

What else have I been doing?
Myself and 2 other local Wellington road cyclists have organised a group ride for Wellington Women cyclists every Monday night. This has proved to be very popular for other women to meet fellow cyclists and gain confidence in bunch riding and learn some new skills. We’ve had up to 60 women turn up for the rides. We’ve had a couple of evenings on bike mechanics, an evening on training and nutrition joined by guest speaker Evelyn Williamson, a technique session on riding hills, and a speed session down at the Hataitai Velodrome. We had a training day on time trial starts and sprinting and had a group of 19 compete at the Cromwell tour. We will organise a group of these women to compete at the Bev Mays tour in February. I wrote an article in the latest Cycling NZ magazine titled “chicks on bikes”. I will try to post a copy here soon. But for more reports on our rides, check out the capitalcycling website.

Now onto the really exciting stuff…..
I’ve got a new bike sponsor….

Scott USA

Hopefully new bikes next week….
More detail (and pics) as soon as they arrive. Watch this space.

And I’m wanting to do a little revamp on the website so that I can post more pics. Hopefully that will happen within the next month. Finally, I’m organising a fund raising dinner on March 15 – more about that soon.

So, until next time, here’s wishing you all a very

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2003.