Information on the High Court litigation.
Strathboss Kiwifruit Ltd (on behalf of approximately 200 kiwifruit growers) and Seeka Ltd (a post-harvest operator) filed a claim against the Crown for what they alleged was negligence in allowing the bacterial kiwifruit vine disease Psa-V (also known as Psa 3) into the country. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) does not accept the allegations.
The claim was heard in the High Court over 3 months, from August 2017 to October 2017. The High Court’s decision was released on 27 June 2018.
In summary, the High Court found:
- A legal duty of care was owed by MAF personnel to Strathboss and those claimant growers with property rights in vines that were infected with Psa-V or treated as though they were infected. No duty of care was owed to post-harvest operators.
- That duty of care was breached at the pre-import stage but not at the clearance at the border.
- The Crown was not protected by statutory immunities and could be vicariously liable for negligent acts by employees.
Summary of the High Court decision [PDF, 200 KB]
The appeal and cross-appeal
The Crown appealed the High Court’s decision to the Court of Appeal. Strathboss and Seeka cross-appealed.
Notice of appeal [PDF, 2.1 MB]
The hearing in the Court of Appeal took place in March 2019.
Find out more
- High Court judgment on plaintiffs’ applications to bring a representative action and use a litigation funder – Ministry of Justice website
- Read the statement of defence [PDF, 252 KB]
- Plaintiffs’ amended statement of claim 8 June 2016 [PDF, 493 KB]
- Read the amended statement of defence, 29 August 2016 [PDF, 299 KB]
- Download the reply to the amended statement of defence [PDF, 281 KB]
- Read this synopsis of the opening submissions for the defendant (the Crown) [PDF, 506 KB]
Who to contact
If you have questions about this legal action, email firstname.lastname@example.org