Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Gisborne Milk Co-op survival bid turned down by High Court

Gisborne Milk Co-op survival bid washed away by Fonterra 'perfect storm'

By Paul McBeth

Jan. 10 (BusinessDesk) - Gisborne Milk Co-op, the 66-year-old Bay of Plenty dairy supplier in liquidation, has lost a last-ditch bid to get back shares and supply arrangements with Fonterra Cooperative Group.

In the High Court in Auckland, Justice Rebecca Ellis turned down Gisborne Milk's claim that Fonterra breached its empowering legislation, saying the Bay of Plenty firm made its own commercial decisions to surrender shares in the cooperative. The Dec. 17 judgment was published on the Justice Ministry's website this week.

"It is difficult not to think of the shareholders Gisborne Milk as sailors caught in a perfect storm," Justice Ellis said. "It is impossible not to have considerable sympathy for them. But none of their claims can succeed."

Gisborne Milk was seeking reinstatement of its Fonterra shares and an inquiry into damages, saying Fonterra's hardball negotiations and stance on whether the company could be a shareholder fell afoul of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act and constituted misleading conduct.

Fonterra inherited Gisborne Milk as a supplier from the company's relationship with Bay Milk when Parliament legislated to create a national dairy group.

What made Gisborne Milk unusual for Fonterra was that the company processed milk for its local community, shipping excess supply to the Bay Milk operation without producing its own product.

The distance and nature of Gisborne Milk's shareholding was seen as a problem for Fonterra, though the dairy group didn't devise a way to deal with the issue for several years, even with prodding by its supplier.

Justice Ellis said Fonterra's interpretation of the act that Gisborne Milk couldn't be a shareholder was incorrect, but the dairy group was entitled to put it forward as an honestly held and reasonable opinion.

Gisborne Milk wasn't obligated to sell its shares, and in doing so ignored legal advice it had received that Fonterra's position was wrong, the judgment said.

"The evidence from Gisborne Milk's own witnesses leads to the conclusion that a decision was taken by Gisborne Milk to voluntarily surrender its shares, for a number of perfectly sound reasons," the judgment said.

The judgment doesn't determine a separate action by Gisborne Milk shareholder Opoiti, which claims a letter from Fonterra manager Mark Leslie caused it to enter into an individual contract with the dairy group.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Keep Digging: Seabed Ironsands Miner TransTasman Tries Again

The first company to attempt to gain a resource consent to mine ironsands from the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone has lodged a new application containing fresh scientific and other evidence it hopes will persuade regulators after their initial application was turned down in 2014. More>>

Wool Pulled: Duvets Sold As ‘Premium Alpaca’ Mostly Sheep’s Wool

Rotorua business Budge Collection Limited (Budge) and sole director, Sun Dong Kim, were convicted and fined a total of $71,250 in Auckland District Court after each pleading guilty to four charges of misrepresenting how much alpaca fibre was in their duvets. More>>

Reserve Bank: Labour Calls For Monetary Policy To Expand Goals

Labour's comments follow a speech today by RBNZ governor Graeme Wheeler in which Wheeler sought to answer critics who variously say he should stop lowering interest rates, lower them faster, or that inflation-targeting should no longer be the primary goal of the central bank's activities. More>>

ALSO:

BSA Extension And Sunday Morning Ads: Digital Convergence Bill Captures Online Content

Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams has today announced the Government’s plans to update the Broadcasting Act to better reflect today’s converged market... The Government considered four areas as part of its review into content regulation: classification requirements, advertising restrictions, election programming and contestable funding. More>>

ALSO:

March 2017: Commerce Commission Delays Decision On Fairfax-NZME

The Commerce Commission has delayed its decision on the proposed merger between NZME and Fairfax Media's New Zealand assets, saying the deal is complex and it needs more time to assess the impact on both news content and the advertising market. More>>

ALSO:

Plan Plan: Permanent Independent Hearings Panel Proposed For Planning

The Productivity Commission recommends creating a permanent independent hearings panel like the one that cut through local politics to settle Auckland’s Unitary Plan, for the whole country. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: NZ Jobless Rate Falls To 5.1% Under New Methodology

New Zealand's unemployment rate fell more than expected in the second quarter as Statistics New Zealand adopted a new way of measuring the labour market to bring the country in line with international practices, and while a growing economy continued to support jobs growth. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news