Bankruptcy will not stop The Laughing Samoans from performing

The Laughing Samoans/YouTube

The Laughing Samoans play 'Piggyback'

The Laughing Samoans will continue to entertain despite one half of the comic duo being declared bankrupt.

The Wellington act, performed by Eteuati Ete and Tofiga Fepulea'i, are a popular live comedy act.

The pair, who started performing in 2003 and have a show on Maori Television, regularly tour in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific islands with sell out shows.

Eteuati Ete, left, and Tofiga Fepulea’i of the The Laughing Samoans. Fepulea’i was adjudicated bankrupt in September.

Eteuati Ete, left, and Tofiga Fepulea’i of the The Laughing Samoans. Fepulea’i was adjudicated bankrupt in September.

Last month Fepulea'i was declared bankrupt in the High Court in Wellington.

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The proceeding was brought to court by the Inland Revenue (IRD) but it was not revealed how much debt the 42-year-old owed.

Associate Judge Tony Christiansen asked Fepulea'i if there was anything he could do to deal with the "large debt".

Fepulea'i responded: "No, not now".

The Companies Office still lists Fepulea'i as a 50 per cent shareholder in The Laughing Samoans company.

Ete, who is the company director and a shareholder would not say what was happening to the shares belonging to Fepulea'i'.

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"The company will continue and we will entertain. I will not comment any further than that," Ete said.

A Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spokesman said at the date of bankruptcy, all assets and property owned by a bankrupt person automatically vest in the Official Assignee and became  its assets and property.

This included any shareholdings a bankrupt may have.

"If the assets have any value, the Official Assignee is able to sell those assets in order to repay the creditors."

The Official Assignee was aware of Fepulea'i's shareholding in The Laughing Samoans but could not comment on the administration of Fepulea'i's bankrupt estate in order to protect his privacy, the spokesman said.

If Fepulea'I's shares were sold by the Official Assignee then the company would be required to record the change in ownership in its share register and include the updated shareholding information in its next annual return form on the Companies Office.

Fepulea'i has not responded to requests for comment.

 - Stuff

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