23 Jan 2013

Varroa compensation still in dispute

6:18 am on 23 January 2013

Some beekeepers are still waiting to be paid out for losses caused by the Government during the varroa mite outbreak more than a decade ago.

Figures obtained by Radio New Zealand show $3.5 million has been paid to beekeepers since 2000, about a quarter of it in the past three years.

Ninety-six compensation claims have been made since varroa mites entered the country and stringent controls were put on beekeepers to stop the spread.

One beekeeper, who claimed close to $2.5 million for losses in honey production, was given $235,913 in 2011.

That claim, and several others, are still being disputed.

The Ministry for Primary Industries says the claims have not been settled because of disagreements over how much is owed.

It says beekeepers can still claim for compensation, but warns it would be difficult to prove 13 years later.

One of the largest beekeepers in the country, Arataki Honey, lost more than $1 million and is considering making a claim.