An Englishman who is trying to sue the government over dioxin poisoning has been charged with torching his $2.6-million Bay of Islands mansion where he says the poisoning happened.
Christopher John Robinson appeared in Kaikohe District Court this week, charged with arson, the Northern Advocate reports.
The charge comes after the five-bedroom, 500sq m Killara Luxury Lodge, inland from Kerikeri, was destroyed by fire in September last year.
The glow from the fierce blaze could be seen almost 10km away.
Robinson and his wife Alison were in Hamilton at the time.
They had moved out from England and bought the property in 2005, converting it into five-star accommodation.
The lodge was up for sale for $2.6m until 2011 when the Robinsons became convinced their family was being poisoned by 2,4,5-T - dumped in the area or used to control gorse in the 1960s.
Robinson said he was suing the government for $20m for misleading migrants with its "100% Pure" advertisements.
His claim included the cost of future cancer treatment and his losses when he was unable to sell the lodge.
He also tried to sue the real estate agent involved in their purchase and State Insurance for refusing to pay out after the fire.
He was also pursuing complaints against Northland Regional Council and the local district health board.Robinson is due back in court on June 18.
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