Arson case due back in court

03:07, May 15 2012
Fire in Ness Rd
UP IN SMOKE: Fire destroyed the luxury lodge in Ness Rd in September last year.

High-profile Kerikeri resident Chris Robinson will appear in the Kaikohe District Court on June 18 charged with arson.

It will be his third appearance in connection with the fire that destroyed Killara Luxury Lodge and Retreat on Ness Rd in Kerikeri in September 2011.

Mr Robinson bought the site for $1.6 million in 2005 and spent $800,000 upgrading it.

He later claimed the 11.9-hectare property was contaminated by dioxin, possibly from past use of the chemical 2,4,5-T, once used to control gorse, and said it had made his family ill. Health protection authorities visited the site but did not support his claims.

Mr Robinson launched an online campaign warning tourists and immigrants to avoid New Zealand and set about suing the government.

The property is now listed as a mortgagee tender. Tenders close on Friday, May 18 at 1pm.