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HYEFU Reveals Crown’s PSA-v Liability Risk

16 December 2015

HYEFU Reveals Crown’s PSA-v Liability Risk

The government’s latest Half-Year Economic & Fiscal Update (HYEFU) records for the first time that it may be in the gun for over $250 million of damages for the havoc caused by the introduction of kiwifruit killing vine disease Psa-v, the Kiwifruit Claim said today. This is the first time the government had formally accounted for the legal action commenced against the Ministry for Primary Industries in November 2014 by The Kiwifruit Claim.

The claim’s chairman, John Cameron, says this suggests the government is finally taking the claim seriously. “In the early days, I think the government thought maybe we’d go away and that it wouldn’t have to account for what we allege was its negligence in letting Psa-infected plant material into our country. Now the Treasury has acknowledged this case isn’t going away, and they have got that right. We reject the government’s defence that it doesn’t owe a duty of care when protecting our country from pest and diseases and we’ll be seeing them in court ASAP,” he said.

The Kiwifruit Claim launched in September 2014, with legal documents filed in November of that year. Losses for the 212 plaintiffs as a result of the 2009 introduction of Psa-v into New Zealand have been estimated at $376 million. The Kiwifruit Claim alleges Biosecurity New Zealand (now part of MPI) was negligent in allowing anthers containing the virus into the country, causing devastation to the kiwifruit industry in 2010.


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