11 Jul 2015

Kiwifruit growers win right to take Govt to court

3:26 pm on 11 July 2015

Kiwifruit growers have won the right to take the Government to court over the vine disease PSA.

Green kiwifruit growers got their highest ever return per hectare of $53,884 and just over $6 a tray.

The 72 growers and post-harvest operators who are part of the action say their losses to date total $280 million. Photo: 123RF

The disease was found in November 2010.

The growers are claiming that Biosecurity NZ was negligent in allowing PSA to be introduced into New Zealand, costing New Zealand at least $885 million.

They say it should be held accountable and pay damages for all forseeable losses.

At the moment 72 growers and post-harvest operators are part of the court action; they say their losses so far total $280 million.

The High Court in Wellington yesterday ruled it could sue the Crown for damages.

It ordered that all growers wanting to join the court action have until early October to sign up.

That will cost a one-off fee of $500, $1000 or $1500 depending on the size of their orchard, and post-harvest operators for a one-off fee of $10,000.

The Kiwifruit Claim chairman John Cameron said the result was expected because he believed it had a strong case.

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