Home' Northern Outlook : April 3rd 2013 Contents 8 March, 2013
CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND FARMER
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Insolvent farmer refuses to leave
Okato scrap: Receivers accompanied by police and security guards arrived at Kelvin Gray’s 300-acre Okato dairy farm
to serve trespass notices this morning. Here, Andrew Gray is being escorted off the property by police.
and police appear
ONE OF Taranaki’s oldest
farming families is in a standoff
with receivers to keep the land
they have lived on for seven
Kelvin Gray was served notice
that his 300-acre (120-hectare)
Hampton Rd dairy farm was in
receivership on March 6 and he
has been told he has until
tomorrow, March 24, to leave.
Mr Gray, 61, told Fairfax that
Rabobank had called in loans and
fees totalling $5.6 million.
Some of that was debt on the
farm and a further $2m stemmed
from his involvement with the
failed 2005 Taranaki Milk
Although Mr Gray
acknowledged he owed the money,
and his family had been working
80-hour weeks for years to service
the debt, he has refused to leave
his ‘‘ancestral lands’’.
‘‘I have told them there are only
two ways I will leave this farm.
That’s via the crematorium or if
they put me in jail,’’ he said.
Just minutes before the
receivership notice was served by
Auckland-based Dennis Wood, of
Act Three Insolvency Services,
police visited the farm to tell him
what was about to take place and
asked him and his son, Andrew, to
hand over their firearms because
the situation had the potential to
Mr Gray said a security guard
employed by the receivers had
been parked at the top of
Hampton Rd to stop them
removing assets and cattle from
Rural debt mediator Jannette
Walker predicted a long and
She said receivers often got as
much as 10 per cent of the sale
price of assets that they were able
to dispose of as well as receiving
an hourly rate of about $500 plus
expenses. She estimated the
receivership of the Gray property
could cost more than $800,000.
Mr Gray said a Rabobank
representative had told him the
bank would not negotiate a deal
that involved any ‘‘parking’’ of
debt because they ‘‘had 200 other
farms in the same position and
did not want to set a precedent’’.
Denise Shaw, of Rabobank, said
privacy issues meant that ‘‘as a
rule’’ they could not talk about
Let’s Talk Farming
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