Blaze destroys $2.6m luxury lodge

By Peter de Graaf of the Northern Advocate -

A $2.6 million home owned by an English couple who are suing the New Zealand Government over dioxin poisoning claims has been destroyed by fire.

The blaze at Waipapa's Ness Rd, northwest of Kerikeri, started just before midnight on Friday and was so fierce firefighters said they could see the glow more than 8km away. Police are investigating.

The blaze follows unconfirmed reports of a rock being thrown through a window of the lodge a week earlier.

The five-bedroom, 500sq m home had been converted into accommodation, Killara Luxury Lodge, by owners Chris and Alison Robinson and had been for sale for $2,595,000.

The English migrants withdrew the lodge from the market earlier this year after they concluded they had been poisoned by dioxin from the herbicide 2,4,5-T dumped in the area or used to control gorse.

They launched a campaign to dissuade tourists and migrants from coming to New Zealand and say they are taking the Government to court for misleading them with its 100 per cent Pure NZ campaign.

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