Nelson-based Helicopters New Zealand is not part of the South Canterbury Finance (SCF) receivership and is "trading comfortably", group general manger Denis Laird said today.
Receivers were called into SCF yesterday and the Government is paying $1.6 billion to bail out SCF's depositors.
Mr Laird said the SCF receivership was "a great tragedy at the end of the day, with huge implications for the whole country".
However, at HCNZ, which is owned by SCF, it was business as usual.
"We're not actually wrapped up in the receivership. We're not a charging subsidiary.
"We're comfortably trading and there's no risk to the business. We expect to be able to continue to trade as things unfold for South Canterbury Finance."
Mr Hubbard's involvement with HCNZ went back to the company's formation in 1955, Mr Laird said. Mr Hubbard had put HCNZ as an asset into South Canterbury Finance earlier this year to increase SCF's equity.
HCNZ is one of the region's greatest business success stories, with more than 200 staff, about 50 helicopters, and contracts around New Zealand and the world, including in Antarctica, Australia and Cambodia.
Staff had been assured they should hold no fears for the company's future success, Mr Laird said.
The South Canterbury Finance Tasman regional office in Nelson's Montgomery Square was open for business today, but general manager Gene Cooper said the receivers had advised that he was not permitted to comment.
The Nelson business traded as Tasman Bay Finance until October 2008, when SCF rebranded its 11 subsidiaries.
Its Nelson business involves loans to many industries including tourism and small businesses, with rural clients a smaller part of its portfolio.
The SCF receivership fallout may also affect an annual Nelson event. South Canterbury Finance is the main sponsor of Nelson's Collingwood St Trolley Derby.
Nelson City Council festival producer Sophie Kelly said they had not spoken with South Canterbury yet, but would get in contact with them in the near future. It would then decide how to deal with the event.
She said organisers were sorry to hear of the financial organisation's troubles as it had been a great sponsor.
Corporate farmer Dairy Holdings Ltd, owned one-third by the failed lender, says it remains profitable and confident about the future of its business.
DHL general manager Colin Glass said the receivership of SCF has had no effect on the day-to-day operations of his company, which owns 58 dairy farms and 14 grazing blocks in the South Island, including six in Nelson worth more than $600 million. Nor had it altered its positive long-term view of the industry, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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