Fruit growers win MPI High Court challenge

Rural Exchange 09/09/2018

Growers are relieved the Ministry of Primary Industries' (MPI) order to destroy thousands of apple and stonefruit plants has been found unlawful by the High Court.

The judge has encouraged MPI to work with fruit and vege growers to come up with new ways to contain plants that pose a biosecurity threat.

“It appears that MPI has taken what it calls ‘a more generalised approach’, rather than the required specific and targeted approach encouraged by the High Court,” said Kerry Sixtus, owner of Pattullo’s Nurseries Limited in Napier. 

Big players in the horticulture industry say MPI must accept responsibility for a biosecurity botch-up resulting in the order to mass destruct thousands of apple and stonefruit trees.

MPI has blamed an American facility, but two Hawke's Bay growers say MPI dropped the ball on its auditing, and lacks the resources to protect New Zealand.

Watch the full interview with Kerry Sixtus above.

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