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Trusts in Court of Appeal


Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust

20 August 2013

Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust and Eastern Bay Energy Trust in Court of Appeal

Court action commenced by Eastern Bay Energy Trust (EBET) in September 2010, which Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi (Te Mana) has been a party to; took another step this week with a hearing in the Court of Appeal in Wellington.

The issue began when Te Mana challenged EBET’s polling process to seek consumer approval to purchase all shares in Horizon Energy that it did not already own. Te Mana filed injunction proceedings, which were successful in getting EBET to abandon this poll.

Questions were then raised about whether or not EBET was in breach of its own trust deed in purchasing Horizon shares in excess of a 25% cap placed on EBET.

EBET took this matter to the High Court, which ruled that there was no cap and determined by a fine margin that the poll authorising the purchase of further shares was valid. The High Court also said that if there had been a cap then it would not have authorised EBET acquiring 100% of the shares in Horizon.

Chair of Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Graham Pryor said “On the basis of the legal advice Te Mana received, we appealed the High Court’s ruling and this is what was heard last week in the Court of Appeal.

“It is not appropriate to make much comment before the Appeal Court Judges issue their ruling, however it is important to note that the Court of Appeal turned down a bid by EBET to have all their costs for the appeal paid by Te Mana.

“While we are being supported in this action by Marlborough Lines and have no financial exposure, the Court has limited what costs the losing party may have to pay,” said Mr Pryor.

Te Mana will provide an update on the outcome of this hearing as soon as possible.


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