Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Crown says it owes no duty of care to kiwifruit growers

Crown says it owes no duty of care to kiwifruit growers for PSA

A spokesman for The Kiwifruit Claim, Matthew Hooton, today slammed the government for saying its border officials do not owe kiwifruit growers a duty of care to protect their industry from pests and diseases.

Mr Hooton was commenting on the devastating news of a Psa-v outbreak in Northland, which may be linked to government officials’ alleged negligence when they approved an importation of infected plant material to New Zealand in June 2009. The news comes just two weeks before the deadline imposed by the High Court in Wellington for growers and post-harvest operators to pay a one-off fee to become part of the claim.

The Kiwifruit Claim argues that the alleged negligence by border officials directly caused the ongoing devastation of the kiwifruit industry, which has cost New Zealand at least $885 million according to the government’s own independent study.

In response, the government has denied it owes the duty of care to kiwifruit growers alleged by the claim.

“It is unbelievable that the government is trying to wash its hands of any responsibility for its officials to act carefully when protecting our country from Psa-v, foot and mouth disease or any of the other pests and diseases that could devastate this country’s farms, orchards and conservation estate,” Mr Hooton said.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“The Kiwifruit Claim is seeking just compensation for growers’ losses caused by Psa-v but it is also motivated by the need to hold government officials accountability to try to stop avoidable outbreaks of pests and diseases from happening again.”

To join the claim, growers need only to pay a one-off initial payment of $500, $1000 or $1500 depending on orchard size. Only growers who are part of the claim can share in any compensation. Should the claim be unsuccessful, growers can face no liability for costs, with the litigation funder already having posted $250,000 security with the High Court.

Growers and post-harvest operators can obtain information on the claim from www.thekiwifruitclaim.org. They should obtain independent legal advice before signing up to the claim. The legal team for the claim is Alan Galbraith QC, Matthew Dunning QC and LeeSalmonLong. Parker and Associates successfully managed the first phase of the claim, which led to the High Court at Wellington approving the class action, the litigation funder and all the associated claim documents.

“We say all farmers, all horticulturists and all New Zealanders concerned about our natural flora and fauna have a right to expect that biosecurity officials will act with care when protecting out country from pests and diseases,” Mr Hooton said. “This litigation will determine whether that is so, or if biosecurity officials are allowed to act carelessly when protecting our country’s borders.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Joining AUKUS Pillar Two


The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...
More


 
 

Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More


Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.