Last orders: Pub shuts

SALLY KIDSON
Last updated 12:00 05/07/2014
pat norris
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PAT NORRIS: The Companies Office says it is considering investigating whether he has broken the law in dealings with a Mapua pub in financial difficulty.

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Disgraced former Nelson liquidator Pat Norris may be investigated over his work with a Mapua pub in financial difficulty.

Norris began serving a 10-month home detention sentence in December after being convicted of theft in a special relationship for stealing $80,900 from a company he was liquidating.

His conviction disqualified him for five years from acting as a company director or promoter of a company, or in any way whether directly or indirectly, being concerned or taking part in the management of a company without the court's permission.

He also cannot act as a liquidator for five years without the court's permission.

Norris is listed as a contact and a business adviser for NMSNZ Ltd, run by his partner Claire Parr, which has been involved with The Tap Ale House and Restaurant in Mapua.

The pub stopped trading last week, owing debts to a number of creditors.

NMSNZ sent out a letter to the creditors of Mapua Ales, which trades as The Tap Ale House, on June 27.

The letter said NMSNZ had completed a financial review of the business, and outlined debts, including those it said were owed by its directors.

It is unclear how NMSNZ became involved. The Companies Office lists Parr as the sole director and shareholder of NMSNZ Ltd.

Norris' cellphone number and email is on the bottom of the letter sent to creditors.

The Nelson Mail has also spoken with creditors who have dealt with Norris in relation to the financial problems of Mapua Ales Ltd.

Norris said he did not want to talk about his involvement with The Tap Ale House.

"I don't want to go into it. I don't want to make a story out of this."

He did not want to comment on whether he had offered the company advice.

"I'm not going to say. I've got nothing else to give. We still have bills to pay, like everybody else."

He referred the Mail to Parr and said there was no money to recover from Tap Ale House and NMSNZ was no longer working for it.

"We were acting for, Claire's company was acting for all creditors."

Norris also did not want to comment on whether he was still on home detention.

A spokeswoman for the Companies Office said it was aware of the concerns regarding Mr Norris' involvement in NMSNZ Ltd and Mapua Ales Ltd.

She said the Companies Office was "considering whether further investigation of Mr Norris' activities is necessary to determine whether there has been any breach of the Companies Act".

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In his written decision on Norris' case in 2012, Judge Michael Behrens said Norris and Parr engaged in "a blatantly dishonest course of action to try and cover up" Norris' dishonesty.

Norris was ordered to start his 10 months' home detention in December after trying to appeal his conviction in the Supreme Court.

When the Nelson Mail visited The Tap Ale House this week, signs were in the window saying it was closed until further notice.

A letter from the landlord Inkwell Holdings, signed by Annalise Caswell, was visible through the pub's door.

The letter said the lease had been cancelled as the company had failed to pay $27,333 in rent, rates and insurance, plus solicitor costs of $3735.

Caswell said The Tap Ale House's demise was an unfortunate situation in a small community.

"It's just bad all round."

Mapua Ales directors are listed as Andrew John Waugh and Danielle Monique Burgess.

Waugh told the Nelson Mail he did not want to comment and referred the paper to Nelson Bays Community Law lawyer Tui Hammond.

Hammond also did not want to comment.

- The Nelson Mail

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