Govt 'won't act' on Hubbard complaint

Last updated 05:00 30/11/2012
Allan Hubbard
JOHN BISSET/Timaru Herald
Allan Hubbard

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Hubbard investors' complaint to the Government has failed to bring any action.

The Investor Liaison Group had complained to Commerce Minister Craig Foss and Attorney-General Lyn Provost about the conduct of statutory managers Grant Thornton.

The group hoped the complaint, which was signed by 230 investors, would prompt the Government to find an appropriate solution for all investors, while picking up the tab for management and legal costs, which have reached $12 million.

Aorangi Securities and Hubbard Management Funds (HMF) were put into statutory management along with Allan and Jean Hubbard on June 20, 2010. Allan Hubbard has since died.

This week Investor Liaison Group spokesman Noel Macpherson said Foss had responded to say he would not be doing anything, while the Attorney-General referred to the statutory management of South Canterbury Finance, which is the wrong entity and went into receivership.

"The Attorney-General's office said our complaint about the statutory management of South Canterbury Finance was outside of its jurisdiction so we have written back and explained they had got it wrong," Macpherson said.

"Things are desperate and no-one is prepared to stand up and take control. There is no end plan and 2 years later the costs are racking up and the litigation is stacking up which is all coming out of the investors' pockets."

The response from Foss said the costs of the statutory managers were not excessive.

"I am advised that the hourly rates charged by the statutory managers are in line with those of other major South Island insolvency practitioners and that their administration costs have been independently reviewed.

"I understand that all expenses to date, including remuneration are reported to have been reasonable and properly incurred.

"In relation to your concerns about the quality of the statutory managers' work, it is important that we all understand and appreciate how commercially complex the administration of Aorangi and HMF has been."

Overall there are about 700 investors owed $176m, of whom at least 22 had died, Macpherson said.

Some investors have been interviewed by TV3's Campbell Live about their financial woes as a result of statutory management. The segment is likely to air in the next week.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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