dairy farm

PHOTO: The importance of giving dairy farm purchasers accurate milk solid production figures has been reinforced by a High Court decision. ANDY JACKSON/STUFF

According to STUFF a West Coast couple have been awarded nearly $1.7 million by the High Court after buying a “rock star” Hokitika dairy farm that turned out to produce far less than represented.

Philip and Julie Routhan bought the Kohatahi/Kowhitirangi Valley farm owned by Nelson Cook in December 2010 for $2.8m.

Philip, a fifth-generation West Coaster, was a successful businessman who was a director of Plumbing World (NZ) Ltd and NZ Plumbers Merchants. In 1995, he was awarded “New Zealand Young Executive of the Year”. He was sacked from his position as chief executive of the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board in 2009.

Cook referred to the farm as having “rock star” qualities, and PGG Wrightson Real Estate Ltd marketed the farm as producing an impressive 103,000kg of milk solids per season from 260 cows on 105 hectares.

But it turned out high production in one season was achieved by applying about two-and-a-half times the amount of recommended urea.

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