The Privy Council ruling on the bid by Foodland for Woolworths highlights serious flaws in the New Zealand legal system, said Ted Van Arkyl, MD of Progressive Enterprises, a subsidiary of Foodland.

The Privy Council swiftly overturned an earlier ruling on the case by the Court of Appeal that backed the argument of Foodstuffs that acquisition of Woolworths by Foodland would seriously impede competition in the New Zealand supermarket sector.

Arkyl said that the alacrity of the Privy Council’s decision showed the entire legal process his company had been forced to submit to was “ absolute nonsense”.

A spokesman for Foodstuffs meanwhile said the company was disappointed but accepted the decision of the Privy Council.

The government of New Zealand plans to abolish the Privy Council in 2004 and replace it with a Supreme Court.

For earlier news on the Privy Council ruling, click here.