14 Apr 2010

Govt considering compensation for stock agent

6:08 am on 14 April 2010

The Government is considering compensation for a Northland stock and station agent who lost his business after a Commerce Commission decision made 24 years ago.

Commerce Minister Simon Power has asked for independent advice before deciding on a payment.

In 1986, the Commerce Commission approved the merger of the Wrightson and Dalgety stock and station companies.

Following that merger, a Northland stock agent, John Andrew Dickson, made a number of complaints to the Commission concerning access to saleyards.

In 1993, his company, Dickson Livestock Associates Ltd, went into liquidation.

Mr Dickson has petitioned Parliament three times, seeking compensation for loss of profits over the period 1988 - 1996, amounting to almost $6 million, plus an allowance for interest and costs.

Last year the Commerce Select Committee found the commission did not perform to the standards expected of a Crown entity in its handling of the matter.

It recommended the Government consider compensation to Mr Dickson.

Mr Power says the petition has a long and complex history and has commissioned independent advice because the select committee's report raises complex issues.

Peter McKenzie QC has been appointed to undertake the inquiry. Mr Power expects to make a final decision by the end of July.