The former chief executive of New Zealand Wine Co has appeared in court charged with receiving NZD64,000 (US$50,500) in kickbacks from a wine deal, according to local reports.

Peter Scutts is accused of receiving the money from an Australian wholesaler, The New Zealand Herald reported yesterday (3 September). The payments were based on how much wine New Zealand Wine sold.

Investigators in Auckland reportedly said that New Zealand Wine Co's board had no knowledge of Scutt's payments.

Scutts, who is also the former chief executive of the Auckland Blues rugby franchise, became New Zealand Wine CEO in July 2011 and was tasked with turning around heavy losses.

In its most recent half-year results (July to December), the company posted a profit of NZD326,000 for the six-month period.

Expert analysis

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