A major Northland logging truck company has successfully appealed a decision to revoke its transport licence and will remain on the road until the case is heard in court.
On Tuesday the NZ Transport Agency announced it had revoked the Transport Service Licence for Whangārei-based business Stan Semenoff Logging due to a continuing failure to address safety concerns which would have seen 75 trucks taken off the road from midnight on Friday. About 85 staff would have been directly affected.
Two audits by NZ Transport Agency revealed concerns relating to driver fatigue and behaviour, and included 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.
However, following a hearing in the High Court at Auckland Friday morning a judge granted interim relief, allowing the company to continue to operate under strict conditions until the case was heard.
Stan Semenoff Logging said the company did not consider NZTA had good grounds for its decision to revoke its licence and there had never been any serious safety concerns at the firm.
News of the trucks being taken off the road had a ripple affect across the region's timber industry.
Mark Hansen, managing director of the Rosvall Sawmill on Whareora Rd, said before the interim injunction was granted there was concern in the wood processing industry as Stan Semenoff Logging was a big transporter of logs in the region.
"While not wanting to condone unsafe transport practises we are concerned that the pending action is been taken without the appropriate due diligence. We do hope the safety issues that have been highlighted with Stan Semenoff Logging can be resolved quickly," Hansen said.
He said although Stan Semenoff Logging only supplied a small portion of the logs to Rosvall Sawmill, it would affect many wood processors right across Northland.
He said it took approximately six log trucks per day, carting two loads each, to keep 55 staff employed at Rosvall Sawmill Ltd.