FMA charges for Yaldhurst developers

MARTA STEEMAN
Last updated 05:00 05/07/2014

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Apple Fields director Mark Schroeder says he hopes to see the stalled Noble subdivision and village development through despite the company's problems.

Schroeder and fellow director Justin Prain face six charges laid by the Financial Markets Authority this week for late filing of financial statements.

Audited accounts are due for three years, 2011-2013. The last filed was for the year to September 2010.

FMA has targeted companies who raise funds from the public and do not keep their shareholders and other investors informed of the financial status.

Schroeder said Apple Fields' main shareholder was the estate of the late Tom Kain and it had several hundred small shareholders.

Apple Fields' main problem is the stalled Noble development, in west Christchurch, resulting from the fight with neighbouring landowners over roading in the development. That is stopping the completion and has tied Apple Fields up in court action.

Asked about how much was owed to financier Southpac, Schroeder said the money owed to it was to come out of the share of profits from the village and that was not a problem. Apple Fields had no office, staff or overheads and he and Prain were working for nothing. They considered it was worth keeping the company going.

Schroeder said the directors had put in almost $100,000 of their own cash to keep the company going and had not drawn about another $200,000 in salaries.

Some people thought when Tom Kain died the company would disappear, "but we certainly are not going to do that, no way, we are going to see it through."

About $26 million had been spent on the development.

Schroeder said with the rise in the property market after the earthquakes there would probably be enough for creditors to be paid.

"We have no gripe with the FMA. They are just doing what they have to."

Apple Fields' 2010 financial statements show Apple Fields was guarantor on a loan of $11m to $12.5m from Southpac Property Investments to the developer Noble Investments. Apple Fields was manager of the development for an 80 per cent profit share.

The accounts reveal also that Taurus, the company auditing Apple Fields' accounts, disagreed with Apple Fields' directors that the company was " a going concern".

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- The Press

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