Media Coverage

From the Press

Newstalk ZB | The Country

15 February 2021

"John Cameron on kiwifruit growers' PSA cas‪e‬"

The BOP Kiwifruit grower and chairman of the Kiwifruit Claim Group took MPI to court over allowing the plant disease PSA to enter the country. The near decade-long dispute was finally settled on Friday when the Government agreed to pay $40 million in compensation, much less than the $450 million initially sought.

Listen here: Newstalk ZB

TV1 News

13 February 2021

"Govt coughs up $40 million for kiwifruit growers before PSA debacle headed to court"

Watch here: TV1 News


13 February 2021

"Government pays $40m to settle long-running kiwifruit Psa claim"

The Government has agreed to pay $40 million to settle a long-running legal dispute with kiwifruit growers over the incursion of the kiwifruit vine disease Psa.

The out-of-court settlement brings to an end years of legal disputes after 212 kiwifruit orchardists, and Te Puke-based post-harvest operator Seeka, brought a class action alleging the Government was liable for losses caused by the devastating plant disease.

Read here: Stuff


13 February 2021

"Government agrees to pay kiwifruit sector $40m over PSA claim"

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5 November 2020

"Kiwifruit growers who lost millions due to PSA take lead in Supreme Court battle against Government"

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Radio New Zealand

23 July 2020

"Midday Rural News"

Kiwifruit Claim Chairman, John Cameron talks to Maja Burry about the case heading to the Supreme Court. 

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National Business Review

22 July 2020

"Supreme Court grants leave to appeal in kiwifruit case"

UPDATE: The country’s highest court has given kiwifruit growers and post-harvest operators another chance at justice after granting leave to appeal over the PSA3 kiwifruit outbreak more than a decade ago.

In a one-page judgment without any reasons, Supreme Court Justices Susan Glazebrook, Mark O’Regan and Ellen France granted claimant group Strathboss Kiwifruit, representing 212 grower businesses, and post-harvest operator Seeka leave to appeal a Court of Appeal decision, which found the Crown couldn’t be sued for negligence as it had statutory immunity.


9 April 2020

"Kiwifruit growers denied compensation for PSA disease"

Kiwifruit growers who've been denied compensation for PSA disease say it raises concerns about whether the Government will be held accountable for any other biosecurity risks. 

A Court of Appeal judgement released on Thursday found that the Government was negligent in allowing the PSA disease to be imported into New Zealand but that it has immunity on liability for millions of dollars in losses.

Radio New Zealand

18 March 2019

"Kiwifruit growers' PSA case: Judge took right approach - lawyer"

Lawyers for a group of kiwifruit growers who last year won their battle for compensation from the then Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry over an imported shipment of diseased pollen say the High Court was right in its approach to the case.

Fresh Plaza

15 March 2019

"NZ: Crown's appeal argues The Kiwifruit Claim judgement is unsound in law and fact"

The New Zealand Government (The Crown) has concluded its submissions in the Court of Appeal, in which it is seeking to overturn a judgement that found it should be held accountable for a Psa outbreak in 2009.

Last June, the NZ High Court ruled that the MPI (formally MAF) was negligent on several different occasions when it allowed Psa disease into New Zealand, after a 12-week hearing. The Crown lodged an appeal against the decision, which began this week, with a counter-claim still to be heard.


11 March 2019

"Kiwifruit growers' $450m compensation claim heads to Court of Appeal"

Kiwifruit growers and the Crown will battle it out again in the Court of Appeal over the next two weeks in a case that could become precedent-setting.

Last year a High Court judge ruled that the Ministry of Primary Industries was negligent in allowing the kiwifruit disease Psa to enter the country in 2009.

Radio New Zealand

11 March 2019

"Kiwifruit growers' PSA case: Government's appeal begins"

Kiwifruit growers are seeking about half a billion dollars from the government over the PSA disease, in a Court of Appeal case starting today.

The growers won a big chunk of their claim for official culpability in the High Court last June, blaming lax biosecurity for the arrival of the vine killing disease in 2010.

The Crown denies it is liable however, and said the High Court got it wrong. Growers in turn filed two cross appeals, and all cases will be raised this morning.


4 December 2018

"Devastation of PSA still felt by kiwifruit growers"

Seven years after a disease devastated the kiwifruit industry in the Bay of Plenty some growers are still struggling.

Four years ago today, Barry and Jan Harris' Te Puke kiwifruit orchard was sold by the bank after it was ravaged by the vine-killing disease PSA.

Mr Harris says the loss was devastating.


7 August 2018

"Kiwifruit growers hit back at Government's Psa appeal"

Time is money and it's taxpayer money - that's the message from kiwifruit growers.

On Tuesday kiwifruit growers filed a cross-appeal to the Government's appeal against the High Court's ruling the Ministry of Primary Industries was at least in part responsible for the Psa outbreak.


The industry is warning the cost of compensation is growing each day, with predictions a settlement could now crack $800 million.

NZ Herald

6 August 2018

"Kiwifruit claimants cross-appeal after High Court Psa decision"

A cross-appeal has been filed today by the Kiwifruit Claim over the landmark decision, which found MPI was negligent in letting the devastating bacterial disease Psa into New Zealand.

Kiwifruit Claim chairman John Cameron is calling on the Government to accept the High Court decision in June which found that MPI was responsible for the Psa outbreak.

Newstalk ZB

25 July 2018

"Kiwifruit growers claim govt is hell-bent on avoiding responsibility for Psa outbreak"

The Government seems hell bent on avoiding culpability for the Psa kiwifruit disease outbreak.

That's according to more than 200 North Island growers who were hit by the outbreak in 2009.


The Government is appealing a High Court ruling that found MAF's biosecurity failings were responsible for the disease getting into the country.

Radio New Zealand

29 June 2018

"Kiwifruit growers on MAF PSA finding: 'You went from hero to zero'"

Kiwifruit growers say the win against the government over the spread of the vine killing disease PSA is "long overdue".

The growers went to the High Court seeking at least $400 million, alleging negligence by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, a forerunner of the Ministry for Primary Industries.

This stemmed from the importation of pollen from China in 2009.

Newstalk ZB

29 June 2018

"Kiwifruit growers seeking compensation"

Kiwifruit growers who took MPI to court over the vine killing disease PSA are thrilled with the decision in favour of them -but want more.

Kiwifruit Claim Committee's Grant Eynon says the 212 companies involved will be seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation.

Newstalk ZB

29 June 2018

"Kiwifruit growers hopeful for critical High Court decision"

Kiwifruit growers whose vines were hit by the PSA disease are braced for a critical High Court decision this morning.

More than 200 growers have been battling to have MPI held responsible for the outbreak that caused hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars worth of damage to the North Island kiwifruit industry.


Kiwifruit Claim Committee chairman John Cameron insists Biosecurity negligence led to the disease being introduced in 2009.


He believes today's court decision will fall in favour of the growers.


29 June 2018

"Kiwifruit growers win negligence claim"

A High Court judge has ruled the government was negligent in its handling of the PSA disease, which devasted the kiwifruit industry in 2010. 

In a 500-page decision made public today, Justice Jillian Mallon said growers who banded together for the court claim under the name Strathboss Kiwifruit should be compensated.


29 June 2018

"Government could have to pay out hundreds of millions to kiwifruit growers"

Kiwifruit growers devastated by the vine-killing disease Psa could be entitled to hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation after a High Court ruling in their favour.

A class action brought by 212 kiwifruit growers against the Attorney General claimed the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) failed to take reasonable care when allowing pollen from China to be imported.


29 June 2018

"Kiwifruit growers hope High Court ruling is a wakeup call for MPI"

The Government is facing a half billion dollar claim for compensation from kiwifruit growers devastated by the vine-killing disease PSA.

It comes after the High Court ruled the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) was at least partly to blame for letting the disease into the country.

NZ Listener

30 October 2017

"The court sequel to the outbreak of kiwifruit disease Psa draws to a close"

Don Hyland lost his legs to diabetes and fought a lifelong battle with profound dyslexia. But what finally beat him was Psa. The infestation of his orchard with the kiwifruit disease forced him to sell it at a ruinous loss, and he holds the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) responsible.

Hyland sold his kiwifruit property in 2012 for $875,000. At the time Psa was first detected in 2010, he says, it had a market value of $500,000 a hectare, or more than $3 million.


27 October 2017

"MPI lawyers, kiwifruit growers battle over duty of care in Psa court case"

In the closing days of the 11-week court case brought by kiwifruit growers against the Ministry for Primary Industries over the 2009 outbreak of Psa, the government's lawyers insist it doesn't have a duty of care for biosecurity while the grower's group argues leaky building case law shows it does.


13 October 2017

"MPI ordered to release details of insurance arrangements for kiwifruit claim case"

The Ministry for Primary Industries has been ordered to release details of insurance arrangements it holds for a legal claim against it by a group of kiwifruit growers over the Psa outbreak which devastated the industry in 2009.

Radio New Zealand

6 September 2017

"Ex-MPI boss gives evidence at kiwifruit claim"

The High Court hears a case in which kiwifruit growers are seeking compensation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, which they say failed to protect them from known biosecurity risks by allowing the vine-killing disease PSA to slip into the country.

Fresh Plaza

30 October 2017

"NZ: Kiwifruit Claim plaintiffs close - argue duty of care was owed"

Plaintiffs in the Kiwifruit Claim court case believe they have proven that MPI was negligent and breached its duty of care by allowing kiwifruit pollen contaminated with Psa-V to be imported into New Zealand and released into the kiwifruit industry.

NZ Herald

4 September 2017

"Kiwifruit growers can't sue over Psa damage - QC"

A group of kiwifruit growers claiming that negligence by the Ministry for Primary Industries allowed the Psa virus into New Zealand in 2009 isn't legally able to make a damages claim and is wrong about where the virus began, a government lawyer has told the High Court.


18 August 2017

"Court hears about role of kiwifruit pollen in possible arrival of PSA"

The Kiwi Pollen company was considered by some to have "ruined" the kiwifruit industry because they believed it was the means by which Psa came into New Zealand, company managing director Jill Hamlyn has told the Wellington High Court.

Hamlyn explained her role in the business and how kiwifruit pollen had been imported by the company from Chile and China.


17 August 2017

"Kiwi Pollen MD Jill Hamlyn says she was blamed for Psa outbreak by industry"

A kiwifruit pollen importer says she can't recall testing done on pollen as the Psa virus outbreak was discovered, and her business has come under pressure as she has been blamed for the damage caused.


15 August 2017

"Seeka tells court of redundancies and million dollar losses following PSA disease"

Kiwifruit grower and packer Seeka Kiwifruit Industries was forced to make 64 staff redundant at a cost of $2.1 million, saw its share price plummet and lost $1.8m on sales that fell through following the arrival of the devastating Psa disease in 2010.

NZ Listener

10 August 2017

"Kiwifruit lawsuit seeks to hold govt to account for biosecurity threats"

After an outbreak of Psa, growers want accountability.

Google Maps has a great satellite view of Te Puke kiwifruit country, at least 10sq km of densely packed orchards, darker green than the surrounding pasture, bordered by shelter belts.

Newstalk ZB

7 August 2017

"Kiwifruit PSA 'ground zero' at Te Puke"

The PSA disease outbreak that that cost the kiwifruit industry hundreds of millions of dollars was preventable and started from a single site near Te Puke, a court has been told.

The class action suit by the 212 members of Kiwifruit Claim against the Ministry for Primary Industries got under way in the High Court at Wellington on Monday.

Radio New Zealand

7 August 2017

"'Mudtopia' mud import cancelled over biosecurity fears"

Mudtopia Festival will no longer be importing mud powder from South Korea.


The kiwifruit protection advocacy group, Kiwifruit Claim, had questioned the importation as South Korea has recently had an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

The group's chairman John Cameron welcomed the decision as a victory for common sense.

''The risks to me were far too great for the benefit.

Radio New Zealand

7 August 2017

"Kiwifruit growers' PSA case against MPI begins"


A group of kiwifruit growers is suing the Ministry for Primary Industries for negligence over PSA getting into the country in 2010.


The vine-killing bacterial disease is estimated to have cost the country close to $900 million.

The Kiwifruit Claim group represents 212 growers, produce company Seeka and growing company Strathboss. It is backed by litigation funding specialist LPF Group.


3 August 2017

"Kiwifruit grower recalls bitter experience of losing orchard"

Former kiwifruit orchardist Wendy Arthur believes she is the only grower in the country who tore out all her plants after the Psa disease struck in 2010.

If she had left the old rootstock in the ground and grafted on the new Gold 3 variety, as other growers did, she would probably have a thriving business today.

Stuff / Sunday Star Times

30 July 2017

"Litigation loans: the high price of civil justice "

"Not a hope in hell," says John Cameron.

Cameron is one of over 200 Kiwifruit orchardists suing the Ministry for Primary Industries over losses following the devastating outbreak of the Psa disease in 2010 they believe was caused by imported pollen.

But the case would never have gone ahead without the case being bankrolled by litigation funder LPF.

Radio New Zealand

25 June 2017

"Court date set for Kiwifruit case against MPI"

More than 200 kiwifruit growers whose crops were ruined by the PSA vine disease will get their day in court in August.

The group called Kiwifruit Claim is suing the Ministry for Primary Industries, accusing it of negligence by allowing the disease to get into the country in 2010.


They are seeking to redress the $885 million loss estimated by the government to have been caused by the disease.

Sunday Star Times

25 June 2017

"Kiwifruit growers ready themselves for courtroom showdown with Government"

Psa cost Craig Jeffries his orchard, and it almost cost him his home.

Six years after the disease was discovered on the orchard he'd proudly bought from his father, Jeffries still gets emotional talking about it.