A decision in the High Court family feud over Hugh Green's $400 million fortune has been made but will remain secret for at least the next week.

Green died, aged 80, in 2012 and had been awarded a Queen's Service Medal for services to philanthropy six months before he passed away.

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The empire he built over decades included the Hugh Green Group, a family-owned property company, and the Hugh Green Foundation, a charitable organisation that supports causes such as medical research or individuals living with disabilities or serious illness.


The philanthropist's eldest daughter, Maryanne, had been chief executive of the family business, the Hugh Green Group, and headed the Hugh Green Foundation, which was set up to give away about $3 million a year.

But Companies Office records show she left the business and the trust in the 12 months before her father died.

A copy of Hugh Green's will - signed months before he died - shows he left his fortune to the Hugh Green Trust, trustees of which include two of his five children, John and Frances Green, and two lawyers.

The year after her father's death, Maryanne Green brought action in the High Court at Auckland challenging the validity of the new will.

At the heart of the argument is Maryanne's claim that she and her brother should work independently and run different arms of the empire - her the business side and John the charitable arm.

She says the trio were appointed when her father was ill and not making rational decisions.

John, however, says they are honouring their dead father's wishes by working together as a family.

The parties squared off last August and now Justice Helen Winkelmann has released a decision in the case.


There are, however, suppression orders in place over the judgment, which will remain until at least a High Court hearing on the matter later this month.