10 Jul 2010

Crafar receivers deny farm mismanagement

5:00 pm on 10 July 2010

The receivers of the Crafar family's North Island farms say they will vigorously defend any legal proceedings based on claims that they have mismanaged the properties.

An injunction application by the Crafar family to stop the sale of the properties and buy back their 16 farms failed on Friday morning when they could not provide funding evidence to the High Court.

The statement of claim also made allegations that the properties had been mismanaged by receivers, who had incurred unnecessary additional costs and treated livestock inhumanely.

Justice Harrison said that while there appears to be no basis for the claims, he gave the family till 6 August to file an amended claim.

The receiver, KordaMentha, totally denies those allegations, saying that everything has been done to manage the farms efficiently and within the law.

Adjournment would have been opposed

The Crafars had sought the injunction so that Allan Crafar could arrange finance to pay off the family's debts and take the farms out of receivership.

Family lawyer Dan Parker told the High Court he couldn't provide the necessary evidence of funding for the proceedings to go ahead - the family needed to front up with $50,000 as security for court costs.

Mr Parker was forced to withdraw the application after the receivers signalled they would oppose any adjournment.

The lawyer for the receivers, Bruce Stewart, says there is now no barrier to selling the farms, and the Crafars will be in the queue with other buyers if they want to purchase them.

Allan Crafar told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint on Friday evening the family is not intending to pull out of the sale process just yet.

Tenders to buy the 13 dairy and three dry-stock farms closed on Wednesday. Two bidders are known: Natural Dairy NZ Holdings and Landcorp jointly with Wairakei Pastoral.