The case concerned a new organism, P.alvei. P.alvei was a bacterium that would eventually have been introduced into New Zealand if Australian honey products were allowed. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry had determined that the bacterium presented no risk. The Ministry therefore issued an Import Health Standard that allowed the importation of honey and bee products from Australia. This Standard reversed a longstanding prohibition on the importation of such products.
The court had previously decided to uphold the Standard. The plaintiff sought interim stay of importations pending appeal.
The court decided to order the sought interim stay pending appeal. Australian honey products had been prohibited for 50 years so further delay was unlikely to be crucial, and the plaintiff had an arguable case. On the other hand repeated importations prior to appeal could well make an appeal factually untenable.