SFO closes Hawkins investigation

MATT NIPPERT
Last updated 16:04 22/01/2013

Relevant offers

Industries

West Coast awaits decision on Solid Energy's future Rapidly growing tech firm VMob delays plan to list on Australian stock market Gargantuan slump in world commodity prices in July: ANZ Insurer Suncorp's NZ profit jumps 64pc, Christchurch claims unsettled Home repair risk in Canterbury, building industry warns Kiwi confidence trumps Aussie gloom: Mastercard survey Dairy, Australian interest rate could affect NZ dollar TGH to sell up to half of The Base Solid Energy in 'precarious position', says John Key Henderson's business affairs under court probe

The Serious Fraud Office has closed an investigation into one of New Zealand's largest privately owned construction companies, Hawkins Construction Limited, in relation to a major million Auckland power upgrade project.

The SFO said despite "unusual" business conduct, there were no grounds to pursue a criminal prosecution.

In August, the SFO served search warrants on Hawkins Construction offices, including the Hobson Street substation site at the centre of a $419 million network upgrade on behalf of state-owned Transpower and listed infrastructure company Vector.

SFO acting chief executive Simon McArley said the investigation had not yielded evidence of criminal activity, but there were oddities in the case.

"While the manner in which the parties conducted their business appears to us to be unusual, we have evidence from industry experts that it is entirely possible that those involved honestly believed the conduct was legitimate.

"In light of that it cannot be concluded that the criminal threshold has been reached," McArley said.

McArley said the complaint was made in good faith and it was important for businesses to be truthful and honest in their dealings.

"Attempts to disguise, bury or fudge the true nature of transactions can easily risk crossing the line into a criminal deception," he said.

Spokespeople for Vector and Hawkins were not immediately able to comment.

Ad Feedback

- BusinessDay.co.nz

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content