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NZ King Salmon faces Supreme Court challenge from EDS

NZ King Salmon faces Supreme Court bid from environment group

By Pam Graham

Aug.21 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand King Salmon faces a Supreme Court challenge to two new salmon farms in the outer Marlborough Sounds from an environmental group.

The Environmental Defence Society says it will file proceedings in the Supreme Court either today or tomorrow seeking to overturn a High Court decision regarding the farms.

King Salmon is planning to develop four salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds, creating 200 jobs and providing income for local businesses.

"We have argued in our application that the High Court made errors of law regarding two sites: Port Gore and Waitata,” EDS Chairman Gary Taylor said.

The group does not oppose two other salmon farms at Richmond and Ngamahau.

The fast-track procedure for the farms meant that the group had to seek leave from the Supreme Court to appeal the High Court decision.

The Supreme Court can grant leave and hear the appeal or can refer it to the Court of Appeal or can refuse leave.

"Our concerns relate to the way the High Court (and the earlier Board of Inquiry) applied the provisions of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 and to the sequence in which the plan changes and the resource consents were considered,” Taylor said.

Auckland Barrister David Kirkpatrick and DLA Phillips Fox partner Rob Enright are acting for EDS.

The company is 51 percent owned by Evergreen Holdings, Direct Capital owns 42 percent and management and directors own 7 percent. Evergreen is owned by timber investors the Tiong family of Malaysia.

It has annual turnover of $104 million and assets and accounts for 70 percent of the production of farmed salmon in New Zealand, according to its website.

In 2011 the company applied for a change to the Marlborough Sounds Resource Management Plan, and for resource consents to farm salmon at nine new sites.

Prior to this, no new space had been allocated for salmon for over twenty years.

The applications were submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority and accepted by the Minister of Conservation to be of national significance.

(BusinessDesk)

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