BNZ paid $2.4m from councillor’s liquidated companies

The Bank of New Zealand has recovered $2.24 million from the liquidated companies belonging to Marlborough District councillor David Dew, the liquidators' reports show.

The reports, for River Farm Vineyards and River Farm Wines, say that while the two companies have about $191,000 in the bank, it is unlikely there will be any distribution to unsecured creditors in the liquidation.

Mr Dew said yesterday he believed there were no ''genuine'' unsecured creditors who were owed money by the two River Farm companies apart from himself and the Bank of New Zealand.

He would not say how much he owed the BNZ, but said he hoped ''to have it resolved in the not too distant future''.

The bank had been paid funds from other sources over time, and he said he was confident agreement would be reached that would finalise the situation so all unsecured creditors other than himself would have been paid.

''That was the purpose of this process.''

Mr Dew put River Farm Wines and River Farm Vineyards into liquidation in March.He has declined to give details of the amount his companies owed when he put them into liquidation. The National Business Review reported in May the companies owed the BNZ $6.8m, but he said this was ''well out'' in a lot of areas.

The liquidators' report, filed with the Companies Office last week, says River Farm Wines has six creditors: the BNZ, Wineworks Marlborough, Enotria World Wide, the Justice Ministry, River Farm Vineyards and Mr Dew. 

Mr Dew said he believed Wineworks, which made River Farm's wine, and Enotria, which distributed it in Britain, had been paid. The Justice Ministry debt is part of the liquidation process.

The liquidators' report says that during the liquidation, they sold 56,694 litres of bulk wine for a total of $230,000 including 20,600 litres of pinot noir that had been contracted for sale before the liquidation.

''At the date of this report, we currently hold 4275 litres of merlot that we are yet to realise."

River Farm Vineyards had four creditors, the liquidators' report says: Inland Revenue, the BNZ, McLauchlan St Trust, and Russell Terrace Trust. 

Mr Dew said he believed Inland Revenue had been paid, and the two trusts were related to him.

The liquidators' report says the company had two vineyards which were sold at auction in June, raising $2.2m. Mr Dew's companies had bought them in 2007 and 2009 for a total of $4.13m.

The Ben Morven vineyard, sold for $1m, was planted with sauvignon blanc vines, and the Godfrey Rd vineyard, sold for $1.2m, had a mixture of varietals, the report says.

''We have realised the sale of all vintage 2012 grapes at a total of $169,000. Further funds may be received once the 2012 district average price data is released.''

The liquidators said they sold River Farm Vineyards' intellectual property, including customer list and website, for $17,000, and some vineyard and cellar door chattels for $6000.

Liquidator Richard Longman said he expected the liquidation would be finished by March. Only administrative matters remained.


The Marlborough Express