17 Nov 2010

Group loses wool levy compensation claim

4:19 pm on 17 November 2010

A group of merino-wool producers has lost a long-running legal battle over a compensation claim against the former Wool Board.

The Court of Appeal in Wellington has found that the board's disestablishment company acted lawfully in its handling of levies paid by the producers for marketing.

The Court of Appeal re-heard the case earlier this year after questions were raised about a business relationship between Justice Wilson, who was on the bench for the original appeal hearing, and the Wool Board's lawyer, Alan Galbraith.

Justice Wilson resigned last month.

The Saxmere group, which represents a group of farmers who produce super-fine merino wool, has been working through the courts since 2003 to get back money it paid in levies to the board for marketing.

It said the board had refused to help the group fund its own marketing plans and sought millions of dollars in compensation.