16 Jun 2014

Judge dismisses claims against trust

7:41 am on 16 June 2014

A judge has dismissed claims that a trust has mismanaged its forest and tree harvesting.

Four beneficial landowners levelled the allegations at the trustees of Kairakau Lands Trust in Hawke's Bay.

They argued they had not been given the opportunity to bid for logging, forestry and harvesting contracts. They believed that, when possible, owners should pick up the work ahead of outsiders.

But the trustees said they were not compelled to offer any contracts to almost 250 beneficial owners of the 1500 hectares of whenua.

Those who who brought the case claimed the owners had not received a dividend from the logs in 26 years, but the trustees said not enough money had been made to justify a payout.

The Maori Land Court declined an application for an injunction to stop the harvesting, but said if the owners were still unhappy, they could call a meeting among themselves to discuss their concerns.