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Court victory over Rangiuru dispute

Elders and Williams & Kettle have recorded their first victory in their battle with Wrightson over access to the Rangiuru saleyards in the Bay of Plenty.

The two companies have been at loggerheads with Wrightson since it issued them with termination notices from the yards last September.

They say Wrightson misled them over ownership negotiations and is wrongfully excluding them from Rangiuru, because their access to the yards is guaranteed under a Commerce Commission agreement.

As part of a court action to force Wrightson to restore their access to Rangiuru, Elders and Williams & Kettle were seeking disclosure of documents by Wrightson to their executives, but the company refused to make them available on the grounds that they were commercially sensitive.

Wrightson was allowing lawyers for the two livestock companies to see the documents, but not their executive staff.

However, after a pre-trial hearing argument in Wellington, the High Court has now ordered Wrightson to allow copies of the documents to be inspected by Williams & Kettle's and Elders' executives.

Elders and Williams & Kettle are continuing to use the yards pending a court settlement to the dispute. No date has yet been set for a court hearing to decide the access issue.

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