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Fur flies over cannabis oil photo
Allegations of improper marketing have been dismissed by Nelson-based start-up Medical Kiwi after a doctored image appeared on its Facebook page.
It was the same, or near identical, image used by the Italian-Dutch company Enecta, which manufactures and sells cannabis products.
The only noticeable difference was … the labels on the small bottle.
But Medical Kiwi's co-founder and chairman Aldo Miccio told the Herald the similarities were "entirely coincidental".
The photo, he said, was bought by the company from a royalty-free photo-stock library. It was then altered using Photoshop "for the purposes of illustrating what our future products might look like".
"Any similarity to another company's photo is entirely coincidental. It might well be they purchased the same stock photo or a similar one."
Miccio said the image appeared on Medical Kiwi's Facebook page before its current PledgeMe campaign was launched this week.
The company has said it aims to raise up to $3 million through equity crowdfunding and wholesale investors. Shares are $1 each with a minimum investment of $500.
Miccio said the photo has not been used by either Medical Kiwi or PledgeMe as part of the campaign or published in its information memorandum.
He said it "therefore cannot be claimed to have been misleading potential investors".
"To avoid even the remote possibility of any confusion with the crowdfunding pitch we have removed the photo from our Facebook page."
The former Nelson mayor also added he felt "obliged" to tell the Herald the Twitter post which highlighted the image's similarities and notified individual journalists was "hardly a credible source for such an accusation".
Gribben takes reins at Govt fund after Dellabarca exit
Murray Gribben, the chairman of New Zealand Growth Capital Partners, a Government-backed venture capital fund, has revealed he has taken over as acting chief executive after the abrupt departure of its previous chief executive.
This month the fund, previously known as the Venture Investment Fund, confirmed through a spokesman that Richard Dellabarca, its chief executive for more than four years ,had resigned to "return to the private sector".
The New Zealand Super Fund, which has a governance role over NZGCP, meanwhile said Dellabarca had left for personal reasons.
Days after the departure Gribben responded to questions to pay tribute to his former chief executive who he said had "been fundamental in the ongoing growth of NZGCP and their support position within New Zealand's high-growth start-up ecosystem".
He added: "I am still chair of NZGCP and I am also interim CEO while the recruitment process is under way."
Asked if there were any investigations underway at the time of Dellabarca's departure, Gribben responded cryptically. "The board continually reviews policies and processes at NZGCP."
The Super Fund was also giving nothing away about investigations at the fund. "That is a matter for NZGCP."
Gribben was adamant the changes in personnel were not impacting the funds operations. "The fund and its operations are progressing in a way which is exceeding expectations."
The Super Fund was also positive. "Since the start of the year NZGCP have increased firm wide resources, including appointment of three independent members to the Investment Committee of Elevate NZ," a spokesman said.
"It is making strong progress on assessing new investments and we look forward to it announcing initial investments in the near future."
Ouch. Airport boss takes hefty Covid hit
Profits for companies in the pandemic front line are taking a hit and so are bonuses for bosses.
Auckland Airport's after-tax profit tumbled 63 per cent in the year to June 30 and its chief executive, Adrian Littlewood, has seen his short-term incentive payment dry up completely.
Last year this earned him just over $560,000. He also took a 20 per cent base pay cut from April 1, as did many other staff and the company's board.
His base salary fell to $1.24m, and, with long-term incentives, his total remuneration for the 2020 financial year was $1.78m compared with $2.4m last year, according to company accounts.
He said the pay cut "is what is", adding what was really heart-breaking was having to farewell contractors and staff who had been heavily involved long term and have been stalled or shelved.
Staff and contractor numbers at the airport have been cut by 25 per cent due to the pandemic and as of June 30 there were just over 500 staff on the payroll. Those who took the pay cut will have salaries reinstated from September 1.