The owner of a British dairy goat farm at the centre of an international outcry over animal cruelty also owns a big Waikato dairy goat farm.
Angus Wielkopolski, reported to be the UK's biggest dairy goat farmer, owns the Yorkshire Dairy Goats company farm in East Yorkshire where animals were secretly filmed being punched, kicked and slammed on their backs, and is a major shareholder in New Zealand-registered Elite Goats Milk UK, 60 per cent owner of a farm at Te Aroha.
The 1800 milking goats farm is operated by 40 per cent owner, Waikato resident Frans Janssen.
He said the treatment of goats in the video was "completely unacceptable" and would never happen on the Te Aroha farm.
Janssen said he had been dairy goat farming in New Zealand for 10 years and before that for many years The Netherlands. The farm had been audited more than 20 times in the past decade by an external auditor and had never failed scrutiny.
The company the farm supplies, Hamilton's award-winning infant formula exporter Dairy Goat Cooperative, also conducted audits of its supply farms, he said.
He said he was a well-respected farmer within the co-op and among other farmers and it was "really sad" the UK incident had been linked by a name to his operation.
Dairy Goat Cooperative chairman Campbell Storey told the Herald having previously visited the Te Aroha farm, which Angus Wielkopolski and Kathleen Wielkopolksa of Yorkshire received Overseas Investment Office approval to buy outright in 2018, he could vouch that Janssen was a "very good operator" and his animals were in "great condition".
Storey said he was dismayed at watching a Youtube video of the cruelty incident, filmed and released this week by animal welfare activist group Surge.
The UK's major supermarket chains, in response, have dropped all products from St Helen's Farm branded dairy products, which the Yorkshire Dairy Goat company supplied.
Angus Wielkopolski, whose address on New Zealand company records is given as St Helen's Farm, is reported to have been disgusted by the video and is considering closing his 4000-goat farm if he can't salvage its reputation.
Asked if he was comfortable about animal welfare standards at an operation linked to Wielkopolska in New Zealand, Storey said "I know the operator of the farm. It would be a totally different scenario."
The Te Aroha farm was one of the cooperative's "bigger" milk suppliers, he said. Suppliers had to buy shares to supply milk and no single shareholder was permitted to own more than 5 per cent of the cooperative. He believed the culprits in the UK would have been contractors.
The Herald has approached Yorkshire Dairy Goats for comment.
Wielkopolski is also a 33 per cent shareholder in New Zealand company Elite Goat Genetics. Janssen and Hamilton-based Animal Breeding Services hold the balance equally.
The Herald understands the business exports live goats and genetics.
The Wielkopolski-related investment in New Zealand's dairy goat industry - which aims to be a $400m a year export earner in the next two years - has become convoluted since May 2018, when "a partnership" of Angus Wielkopolski and Kathleen Wielkopolska of the UK was approved by the OIO to buy an operating dairy goat farm on 103ha on Manawaru Rd, near Te Aroha.
The price was withheld but is understood by the Herald to have been eight figures.
The applicant would enhance the operation by introducing the Yorkshire breed to New Zealand, increase jobs, enhance exports and milk supply, and provide "some oversight and participation by New Zealanders", said the OIO decision.
Herald inquiries show Elite Goat Milk was registered in November 2017. Directors were Wielkopolska, Wielkopolski and Janssen. Today the company is 60 per owned by Elite Goats Milk UK, which the British company register shows is 25-50 per cent owned by Angus Wielkoposki.
The company is represented in New Zealand by global law firm DLA Piper.