Former Killara Lodge owner facing hearing

16:00, Jan 23 2013
Chris Robinson
BURNT OUT: The luxury lodge in Ness Rd.

British immigrant Chris Robinson is due to appear in the Whangarei District Court tomorrow in connection with the fire that destroyed Killara Luxury Lodge and Retreat on Ness Rd in Kerikeri in 2011.

The appearance is a hearing to set a date for trial. There is likely to be a pre-trial hearing.

Fire destroyed the lodge and Mr Robinson was charged with arson.

chris robinson
ON CHARGES: Chris Robinson has been charged with arson after a fire destroyed the luxury lodge in Ness Rd 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, 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, carrying a Land Value of $640,000, was listed as a mortgagee tender and sold last year.