Receivers to reveal plans next week

PRESS REPORTERS
Last updated 05:00 09/02/2013

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Christchurch clients and subcontractors of collapsed construction company Mainzeal Property and Construction should have some answers next week on whether the projects they are working on will continue.

The receivers have a legal obligation to decide whether to continue with the contracts or not within 10 working days of being appointed.

Yesterday they allowed subcontractors at 16 Mainzeal work sites in Christchurch, and around the country, to retrieve equipment and tools.

Receivers' representatives also held a second briefing meeting with Mainzeal employees in Christchurch.

A spokeswoman for the receivers said they hoped to update early next week on their review of each Mainzeal site.

Work being managed by Mainzeal has ground to a halt at the $40 million expansion of the Hub in Hornby and at other sites such as Hillmorton Hospital, St Andrews College boarding house and at hi-tech company Trimble.

Neville Fagerlund, chairman of the company that owns the Hornby shopping centre, said Mainzeal had the main construction contract for the hub expansion, much of which involved the expansion of the Farmers department store.

Fagerlund said if the receivers decided not to keep going "we will be in a position to work with somebody else".

"Hopefully we can come to something with the receivers and we'll be in a position to carry on," he said.

The Canterbury District Health Board is seeking legal advice on a number of redevelopment contracts it has with Mainzeal.

"We hope to have a better understanding of the situation and what will happen to those CDHB projects currently being managed by Mainzeal before the end of the month," CDHB chief executive David Meates said.

Mainzeal had been working on three CDHB projects. It had almost completed a $14m upgrade on Christchurch Hospital's boiler house.

A $7.5m upgrade to Hillmorton Hospital's Fergusson building is under way and was expected to be completed at the end of last year.

Mainzeal was also conducting upgrades and earthquake repairs on Hillmorton Hospital that were expected to be completed within the next 12 to 18 months.

CDHB's quake repairs bill for all facilities amounted to more than $150m and several construction firms, including Mainzeal, were involved in the redevelopments.

Meanwhile, it is a waiting game for subcontractors like Jeremy Spencer of Spencer Painting owed about $450,000 by Mainzeal for work over December and January.

On Wednesday, when the receivership was announced, the company stopped its work at several sites in Christchurch .

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Spencer said Mainzeal had been a prompt payer up until now.

"It was a shock really."

The Christchurch offices of GPS technology company Trimble were being rebuilt by the collapsed company after an earthquake-related fire in May 2011.

- The Press

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