Northland's largest log hauler is due to return to court next month in its case against the NZ Transport Agency over the status of its transport licence.
Steve Haszard, managing partner of Meredith Connell and the agency's regulatory lead, said the case would go back to court in three week's time. Haszard has been engaged by the agency to advise on cases of alleged breaches of the Land Transport Act and ensures the agency takes action against operators.
On March 25, the judge granted Semenoff Logging's application for interim suspension of the NZTA's action to revoke its licence for 116 breaches of the law.
That was a temporary measure, in advance of Semenoff Logging's application for a full judicial review of the NZTA action, the judge said: "I am of the view that SSL's application for judicial review is arguable and an interim order is necessary to preserve its position," the decision said in granting the trucker's application.
Haszard said Meredith Connell solicitor Robin McCoubrey was heading the action.
McCoubrey appeared for NZTA last month and Haszard said NZTA would oppose Semenoff's application for a permanent order.
"We'll be making sure the court understands the significant safety concerns. We will oppose their application because we have significant concerns about the way Semenoff Logging is operating. NZTA says this is sufficiently concerning that they out to be off the roads. Counsel for NZTA will oppose [Semenoff's] application for permanent relief and will set out the circumstances of why it is concerned about the operation continuing. This is due to all the safety concerns outlined in the press release," Haszard said of an NZTA statement issued on March 19.
No date has yet been set for the full judicial review, Haszard said, but he hopes that will be this year.
Semenoff was not the only transport operator which had opposed NZTA enforcement action, Haszard said. A number of others had also taken steps to oppose it, he said.
NZTA's statement last month said it had "moved to revoke Stan Semenoff Logging's Transport Service Licence (TSL) due to a continuing failure to address safety concerns about the Whāngārei based company.
"The concerns relate to driver fatigue and behaviour, and include, breaches of work time and rest time rules, pervasive logbook issues and the accumulation of 116 speed and traffic-related offences over a four-year period.
"Regulatory Lead and Meredith Connell Managing Partner Steve Haszard says the transport agency has been strongly encouraging Stan Semenoff Logging since 2016 to get the company to lift its safety standards," the statement said.
In response, a spokesman for Semenoff Logging hit back at criticism of its road safety record, saying it has only had four speeding tickets in four years.
A statement challenged the agency's legal action, indicating the business was obeying road rules and ensuring its drivers performed their duties safely.
Semenoff's statement said the business only had four speeding tickets in four years, claims of logbook offences were invalid because drivers were taking breaks, the business had a four-star rating and, instead of the 116 offences the agency claimed, the business only had nine traffic offence notices in four years.
"The 116 offences refer to roadside inspection infringements. None of these was a safety issue. These are for minor Certificate of Fitness defects and in no case was the truck ordered off the road. In every instance, the vehicle was allowed to continue its trip to Marsden Point to deliver its logs," the company statement said.
Shane Jones, Regional Economic Development and Associate Transport Minister this month said he was worried about NZTA action against the transporter, raising questions about whether he should be commenting on the case. In reply, Jones said there was no court case and he was commenting as Regional Economic Development, not Associate Transport minister.