A whisky company in Oamaru's historic precinct has been evicted after falling behind with its rent.
But the owner of the New Zealand Malt Whisky Company, Warren Preston, says the lock-out by the Whitestone Civic Trust came without warning on Thursday afternoon.
Staff in the firm's cafe, barrel house and gallery were given half an hour to get out before the locks were changed, and were forced to leave behind 450 barrels of whisky.
Mr Preston says the trust's lawyers had told him they had no intention of enforcing an eviction order, and he believed the trustees had confidence in the business.
He is appealing against the eviction.
But trust chairman Phil Hope says he is sure correct procedures have been followed.