Barugh had applied earlier in the year to the Wellington City Council for a licence to sell milk under the Wellington City Milk Supply Act 1919.
The 102-year-old law appeared never to have been repealed. A move was made under the last National Government for the Act to be repealed as part of a bundle of obsolete laws, but it did not happen.
But the council refused a licence, saying even if the law had never explicitly been repealed, it had been implicitly by other acts replacing it over time.
The council called Barugh’s case vexatious, frivolous and a waste of the council’s time but nevertheless the council began negotiating.
Barugh offered a number of times to settle it, on the basis that the council work towards having the law repealed.
Despite the council initially saying it believed it already had been, as negotiations went on, they agreed to support Barugh in having the law repealed.
Both sides have now written to Internal Affairs requesting the law be repealed in a Government bill and Barugh has withdrawn his appeal.
The council has now agreed the old law does not appear to have been explicitly repealed.
Barugh said it might take some time, acknowledging the Government was busy with other things during the pandemic, but warned that he would apply again for a licence if the law was not repealed.
Public law experts had supported Barugh’s position.