SFO closes Hawkins investigation

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

Relevant offers

Industries

NZI offers insurance excess waiver to top quarter of trucking firms Booksellers NZ wary as Australia explains limit to 'Amazon tax' NZ's richest businessmen lose millions in sharemarket turmoil Mighty River Power to pay special dividend, operating profit slips to $482m Falling petrol prices mask rising margins After Kirkcaldie & Stains move, Brierley moves on Smiths City NZ Post boosted by Kiwibank Countdown result outshines Australian owner Woolworths Leasing outlook stronger for Marsden Maritime Holdings NZ dollar still low as NZX 50, US dollar and Wall Street strengthen

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