Waipareira Trust wins court battle

MATT NIPPERT
Last updated 15:02 22/11/2013
John Tamihere
LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX MEDIA
John Tamihere

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The Waipareira Trust has won its latest court skirmish with Brent Ivil, winning a summary judgment ordering the developer to repay nearly $1 million.

The case flowed from a soured joint-venture between Waipareira and Ivil's Clearwater Cove building project.

The parties agreed in 2007 to co-operate to finance and build a 20-story hotel, but in 2011 the friendship between Ivil and Waipareira chief executive John Tamihere, and the commercial relationship between their entities, broke down.

The failed deal resulted in numerous court actions, with both sides claiming the other party was responsible for millions of dollars in resulting losses.

One strand of the proceedings concern attempts by Waipareira to enforce personal guarantees given by Ivil when the trust advanced $640,000 in 2010.

Waipareira filed proceedings in the High Court in Auckland seeking Ivil be declared liable for $1.3m, including principle, penalty interest and more than $300,000 in legal costs.

Ivil's lawyer George Bogiatto defended the claim arguing Waipareira had waived its security over the loan due to a botch-up and that the loan agreement had been broken when the joint venture collapsed.

Bogiatto also submitted the claim for legal fees was excessive and poorly documented.

In a ruling released this week Associate Justice Jeremy Doogue dismissed Bogiatto's arguments, saying "the defendant does not have any arguable defences".

Justice Doogue said that even if Waipareira had waived it security - the subject of a parallel hearing in the courts - this would not release Ivil from his guarantee.

Justice Doogue said it was an "open question" whether the claim for legal costs was reasonable, as many had been incurred in other proceedings.

He referred determining legal costs to adjudication, and entered summary judgment against Ivil for $994,895.

Bogiatto told Fairfax Media he was mulling an appeal, but a decision on whether or not to go to the Court of Appeal would not be made until next week.

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- Fairfax Media

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