Salmon boss defends right to costs
New Zealand King Salmon chief executive Grant Rosewarne says the company has a legal right to consider pursuing costs from organisations that took their fight against the company's expansion plan to the High Court.
Environmental Defence Society chairman Gary Taylor this week claimed Mr Rosewarne was bullying by threatening to claim costs against his organisation and Sustain Our Sounds if they took their appeal to the Supreme Court after it had been rejected by the High Court.
King Salmon was entitled to consider its legal options just as the society was seeking legal advice on a further appeal, Mr Rosewarne said yesterday.
The company had applied for consent to develop nine new salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds. The Environmental Protection Authority board of inquiry decision to grant four of those was positive for groups like the society and Sustain Our Sounds, he said.
"An extremely high bar has been set for environmental care and farming practice."
Environmental groups tended to paint all commercial operators as villains, but King Salmon had been sustainably farming in the Sounds for more than 25 years, supporting conservation and recreation work while running a business.
Staff numbers had dropped from 475 to 425 as the company processed 1500 tonnes less salmon, he said.
The decision allowing four new farms would create 200 jobs in the top of the south in a tough economic climate, he said.
"To preserve jobs and to reduce biosecurity risks we need urgent access to the 6 surface hectares which we have been granted," Mr Rosewarne said.
Delays did not just cost money, he said.
Extending biosecurity measures in Pelorus Sound across all farms would protect the business from threats similar to the PSA that had hit the kiwifruit industry.
However, this required space, he said.
- The Marlborough Express