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Mediation Delayed in New Plymouth Council’s Claim

Monday, July, 22, 2019

There has been a delay in the mediation for the dispute related to the New Plymouth District Council’s $2.3 million lawsuit against an Australian dairy company.


The claim is related to the more than $300 million sale of the council’s stake in Tasmanian dairy farm operation to Moon Lake Investments. The sale took place in 2016. The sale price was reduced in anticipation of a reduction in milk prices during that year, but the NPDC claimed the price of milk did not drop as predicted. As a result, they would like to receive the money they lost.


As a result of the dispute, the wind-up of the farm business, Tasmanian Land Company, was delayed.


The court required mediation to occur and schedule it for June 24th, but later delayed the mediation until the end of July. According to New Plymouth District Council business service manager Alison Trustrum-Rainy a specific date has yet to be set, but it is known that New Plymouth District Council’s attorneys and the secretary of Tasmanian Land Company will be in attendance.


When asked if there had been any attempt to negotiate a stalemate rather than throw stones at each other in court, Councilor Alan Melody stated, "Mediation might be successful but our expectations are not high.” He also pointed out that a previous attempt to negotiate had been unsuccessful.


Lawyers involved in the dispute were also updated on the performance of their Provincial Growth Fund (PIF), which had a balance of $291.2 million at the end of March.