Gisborne kiwifruit growers have lost their fight to have the value of their gold kiwifruit licenses removed from the rateable value of their properties. Three years ago the Gisborne District Council started including the license in the growers’ rates. The Bushmere Trust, a kiwifruit grower, took the council to the Land Valuation Tribunal and won its case. The council then successfully appealed that decision to the High Court but the trust appealed that judgement to the Court of Appeal which dismissed the appeal – allowing the council to include kiwifruit licences in the rateable value of a property. The Court decreed SunGold vines sell for a materially higher price than an orchard planted in other vines and as those Licences are invariably assigned with the planted land… rating valuations ought to align broadly with market realities. Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated CEO Colin Bond says the growers are gutted.