17 October 2012
The Supreme Court has today dismissed the application by the Tiroa E and Te Hape B Trusts for leave to appeal.
The Trusts, which were originally part of a consortium associated with Sir Michael Fay, challenged whether it was open for Ministers to conclude that the persons controlling Milk New Zealand Holding Limited – a subsidiary of Shanghai Pengxin Group Co. Limited and the proposed purchaser of the Crafar farms - had business experience and acumen relevant to the investment. This is a mandatory criterion for consent. In August, the Court of Appeal dismissed a similar appeal from the High Court and judicial review by the Fay consortium.
In its decision today, the Supreme Court stated that the issues that the proposed Tiroa E and Te Hape B Trusts’ appeal would raise were too fact-specific to qualify for an appeal to the Supreme Court. The Court also stated that it saw no obvious error in the careful and common factual assessments made by the High Court and Court of Appeal. Overall, the Supreme Court did not view it as being necessary, in the interests of justice, to give leave to the Trusts for a further appeal.
Manager of the Overseas Investment Office, Annelies McClure, said, “The Overseas Investment Office welcomes the decision from the Supreme Court today.”