14 Aug 2010

Kiwifruit challenge struck out by High Court

9:59 am on 14 August 2010

The High Court at Auckland has struck out three claims brought by Turners & Growers seeking to overturn Zespri's monopoly of kiwifruit exports.

Turners & Growers claimed that regulations giving Zespri monopoly control over most export markets were unlawful.

The company also claimed that Zespri had abused its dominant position in a number of ways.

However, the court ruled that the Kiwifruit Export Regulations 1999 were valid.

It also ruled that Kiwifruit New Zealand has exclusive jurisdiction to consider complaints under the regulations.

The judgement has been welcomed by Zespri.

Chief executive Lain Jager said it would be highly desirable if T&G decided not to subject its shareholders, kiwifruit growers and Zespri to the further expense of prolonged litigation through an appeal.

He said the Government, the Opposition, 90% of kiwifruit growers and now the High Court have "confirmed their support for the existing arrangements".

Mr Jager said 17 companies are exporting kiwifruit from New Zealand through "collaborative marketing" and Zespri expects these programmes will continue to grow in the future.