Opening the floodgates: what the PSA decision means for NZ

*Watch the full story in the video above*

The landmark High Court decision to hold the Ministry for Primary Industries responsible for approving the imports that led to the kiwifruit disease PSA taking hold in New Zealand has significant implications for the Government. That’s according to Bell Gully partner Tim Smith, an expert in systemic failure and state liability.

In 2010, officials of what was then called the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry granted an import licence for Chinese kiwifruit pollen, which turned out to contain PSA. The mistake led to the widespread destruction of North Island kiwifruit orchards and hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for growers.

In this video interview with Newsroom business editor Nikki Mandow, Smith explains how the court’s rejection of a key ‘floodgate argument’ has repercussions for government liability in other cases in the future.

Bell Gully is a foundation supporter of

We value fearless, independent journalism. We hope you do too.

Newsroom has repeatedly broken big, important national news stories and established a platform for quality journalism on issues ranging from climate change, sexual harassment and bullying through to science, foreign affairs, women’s sports and politics.

But we need your support to continue, whether it is great, small, ongoing or a one-off donation. If you believe in high quality journalism being available for all please click to become a Newsroom supporter.

Become a Supporter


Newsroom does not allow comments directly on this website. We invite all readers who wish to discuss a story or leave a comment to visit us on Twitter or Facebook. We also welcome your news tips and feedback via email: Thank you.

With thanks to our partners