PA2007_238.jpg Bottle, Milk (2007). Taranaki Milk Products Ltd, Alto Packaging Ltd. Collection of Puke Ariki (PA2007.238).

This milk bottle shows things do not have to be old and dusty to become part of Taranaki’s heritage. The bottle itself is a generic product, but  it was what it originally held, and where it was produced, that sets it apart. The milk was bottled by Taranaki Milk Products Ltd, based out of a factory at Tātaraimaka. The venture, headed by Kelvin and Linda Gray, got off the ground in 2004, and according to a 2008 newspaper report employed 30 people during peak production. They also produced a range of cheeses and sold bottled spring water. But the company lost an important fresh milk contract, before suffering several other setbacks prompting the Grays to sell up. “I realised how relaxing farming is compared to running the business,” Mr Gray said in 2008. This bottle, bought for $2.50 at the Taranaki Farmers Market in November 2007, will help keep memories of the venture ‘fresh’ even though the contents have long since been drunk.

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