Kiwifruit New Zealand has again turned down collaborative marketing applications by Seeka Kiwifruit Industries and Splice Fruit, after being forced by a High Court judicial review last week to accept appeals against the rejection of the companies' original applications.

Seeka expressed disappointment at the decision, with chief executive Michael Franks describing it as "a black day for New Zealand kiwifruit growers."

The appeal was ordered last week by the High Court in Tauranga, in a fast track judicial review after two applications by Seeka and one by Splice Fruit were rejected late last year.

Seeka planned to export 400,000 trays of Green fruit to Hainan Island in China and 120,000 trays of Green fruit to Xinjiang province in China this season. Splice wanted to export 400,000 trays of Green Organic fruit to Austria.


As required under the regulations, the exports would have been carried out in collaboration with Zespri, the primary mandated kiwifruit exporter.

Last week the High Court in Tauranga ordered KNZ to reconsider all three applications, and issued guidance for handling future appeals.

KNZ published its decision on Friday. Chief executive Geoff Morgan said it had carefully gone through all the additional material supplied by the applicants and Zespri.

"[KNZ] has decided that the applications did not achieve the purpose of increasing the overall wealth of New Zealand kiwifruit suppliers, and therefore all three applications were declined."

Mr Franks said Seeka was deeply disappointed.

"We believe the programme we proposed would have added value to New Zealand growers - which is the key purpose of the collaborative marketing programme. It is particularly unfortunate that our programme, which would have added value and increased sales, has been rejected in a season where we believe there will be an oversupply of Hayward Green fruit."