A Taumarunui farmer has admitted leaving his cattle to starve to death on his rural property.

Kevin Graham Groves, 54, runs a sheep and cattle farm on Tunanui Rd, Owhango - south of Taumarunui - and was due to stand trial in the Taumarunui District Court today on five representative charges laid by Ministry for Primary Industries [MPI] under the Animal Welfare Act.

However, after discussions in chambers between Groves' lawyer, Fletcher Pilditch, and MPI's David Fordyce, two of the most serious representative charges - wilfully ill-treating animals resulting in animals dying - were withdrawn.

Groves then went on to admit the remaining three charges of ill-treating the animals by failing to provide adequate food; recklessly ill-treating the cattle with the result that they died and recklessly ill-treating the cattle with the result that their pain and suffering was so severe they had to be put down.


The charges relate to offending between June and August 2014.

The Ministry has to draw up a new agreed summary of facts, so details around the animals' deaths - and exactly how many were left either dead or emaciated - can't be reported until his sentencing.

Groves also faces additional ill-treatment related charges from 2015, however, Judge Gerard Lynch remanded him on bail without plea on those.

Groves will reappear on all charges at his sentencing in the Palmerston District Court on September 23.