3 Feb 2015

Kiwifruit Claim reveals lawsuit details

8:05 am on 3 February 2015

Details of a class action lawsuit filed against the Government by a group of kiwifruit growers have been made public.

Zespri expects a lift in gold kiwifruit production next year.

The Kiwifruit Claim has accused the government of negligent biosecurity. Photo: AFP / Monty Rakusen / Cultura Creative

The group known as the Kiwifruit Claim is suing the government for what it says is its negligent biosecurity - after the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) let PSA-infected kiwifruit plant material into the country.

The claim alleges that the ministry, which was then known as MAF, repeatedly failed to ensure the kiwifruit industry was protected from PSA - despite the disease spreading rapidly throughout the world.

Kiwifruit Claim spokesperson Matthew Hooton said the kiwifruit growers were seeking compensation for their losses.

"The amount that will be sought in damages will depend on how many growers sign up and how many post-harvest operators sign up," he said.

"We think that so far about a quarter of a billion dollars of losses is the estimate but that will have to be carefully checked.

"The Government itself believes that the cost of PSA was at least $885 million."

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