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Fish & Game: compensation claims ‘completely false’

11 December 2018

Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game has strongly refuted as “completely false” a Waikato Times article’s claim that the organisation has been ordered to pay compensation as the result of a court case.

Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game Chief Executive Ben Wilson says the article published in the Waikato Times last Friday, December 7, 2018, has facts completely wrong.

Mr Wilson says the article stated that Fish & Game and the Department of Conservation will have to pay compensation to the Ward family after losing a court case brought by them regarding the loss of farmland due to flooding from the Whangamarino Weir.

“The Whangamarino Weir was constructed by Fish & Game and DOC to restore water levels in the Whangamarino Wetland that had been lowered due to earlier excavations for flood control in the Waikato River.”

“The Waikato Times article states : “At the High Court in Hamilton in November, Justice Wylie ordered the two organisations to pay costs to the Ward family for the impact on their farm and cost of getting a resolution for almost two decades.”

“This statement is completely false,” says Mr Wilson.

“ In fact, contrary to the statements reported by the Waikato Times, there has been no trial on this matter, and thus no compensation has been awarded,” he says.

“The Court has not made any findings as to the impact of the Whangamarino Weir on the Ward’s property.”

“There has been a brief legal hearing to determine whether the proceedings brought by the Wards were time-barred by the Limitation Act.

“Justice Wylie, concluded that the Wards were entitled to bring an action for alleged damages for flood events that have occurred from 2011- 2017.

Mr Wilson says that Fish & Game accepts the judge’s decision. His judgement was easily understood and precise.

“The judge did not consider the merits of the action brought by the Wards, and the substance of the allegations have yet to be put before the Court.

“Indeed, Fish & Game welcomes continued discussions with the Wards and DOC to resolve the matter out of court. ”

ends

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