Trucking firm 'pressured staff to falsify logbooks' - NZTA

A secret video has emerged from a court case between the owner of Northland's largest logging truck company and the NZ Transport Agency. 

The NZTA's case claims Stan Semenoff pressured drivers to falsify logbooks over their rest breaks.

Semenoff denies it, and says instead he was reminding a driver to work to his full potential.

The video of Semenoff was secretly recorded by one of his drivers three years ago.

NZTA revoked Semenoff's logging licence in March over safety concerns, including issues with the logbook each driver keeps to record the hours on the road.

The agency says the video shows Semenoff pressuring staff to falsify those logbooks.

"If you want to stick to the rule book, we can't stop you... but we're not going to have you in the company when you're the only one who's not doing it," Semenoff, Stan Semenoff Logging director, said.

Semenoff said in a court affidavit he was not telling the driver to break the law, adding that it is safer for drivers to take their breaks at dropoff points rather than on the side of the road.

"I was certainly not telling him not to have breaks or to break the law," it says.

"It is best and safest to take breaks in Northland at the points of destination."

Semenoff also said in the recording: "I know the policeman says you've to stop - f**k him - he's not, he's not doing the company much."

"An unfortunate expression for which I apologise," Semenoff's affadavit states.

"This was a general comment along the lines that he needed to listen to his bosses at the company, rather than what a policeman may have said to him."

The judge noted that the video was inherently unfair to Semenoff and could be viewed out of context.

Semenoff denies any wrongdoing.

The video was played in the High Court on Monday where Stan Semenoff Logging argued its 55 trucks should be allowed to remain on the road until an appeal against NZTA's decision is heard.

A High Court judge on Thursday agreed and ruled in favour of Stan Semenoff Logging.

He did state however that NZTA's concerns are justified, and suggests systemic problems at the company and also a level of defiance, but said Stan Semenoff Logging does not pose an undue risk to the public.