Dave Henderson a 'buffoon' - liquidator

'BUFFOON'? Bankrupt property developer Dave Henderson.
'BUFFOON'? Bankrupt property developer Dave Henderson.

A liquidator referred to South Island property developer Dave Henderson as a "little bastard" and a "buffoon" in a telephone conversation, and detailed his personal battle with him in official reports.

But Robert Walker yesterday denied charges he had breached the professional standards of a chartered accountant.

The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants heard a complaint brought by Ian Hyndman, in which the Professional Conducts Committee (PCC) alleged Walker was unprofessional during a telephone conversation and in two liquidator's reports.

Walker is the liquidator of Property Ventures, the parent of interconnected companies owned or controlled by Henderson, who was declared bankrupt in November 2010.

Hyndman is a business associate of Henderson.

PCC representative Richard Moon said Walker had breached fundamental principles of insolvency practitioners, but the conduct was not the most serious of cases. "It's not about forcing all members to communicate in the same way. There is a line; it has been crossed in this instance."

Corporate Finance director Justin Bosley presented expert evidence on a telephone transcript of a conversation involving Walker, which he said amounted to unprofessional behaviour.

He pointed to Walker referring to Henderson as "that little bastard," as being deluded, a thief and a buffoon.

Henderson would have been automatically discharged from bankruptcy in January this year before an objection was lodged.

Bosley's evidence was the conversation in whole suggested Walker wanted to go beyond the law to get Henderson.

He also said two liquidator's reports prepared by Walker had a belligerent tone and appeared to lack neutrality.

Walker had said Henderson was continuing to ignore him, but might get a surprise.

These statements should never have been included in the reports, Bosley said.

But Walker's lawyer Richard Fowler, QC, said his own expert witness would say what Walker had done with the Property Ventures liquidation was in fact a tribute to his professionalism.

The telephone comments suggested Walker had been dumped with evidence and was unsure what he could do under the law.

He was not clear what documents he could and could not disclose, he said, and was concerned given he had seen evidence of criminal conduct.

Bosley's own credibility was questioned, specifically relating to the late filing of his own liquidator's reports and whether this could be considered unprofessional.

The Southland Times