Pickings from company very slim

MARTIN VAN BEYNEN
Last updated 05:00 08/04/2014

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Subcontractors and clients stand little chance of getting any money from the liquidation of rebuild company NZ Premium Construction.

The company failed in February with debts of nearly $2 million, $716,000 of which is owed to contractors and material suppliers.

Clients of the company, which was doing rebuilds and repairs in Christchurch, have asked police to investigate the behaviour of director Craig Johnson. He was last week on holiday with his family in Samoa.

Liquidator Damien Grant, of Waterstone Insolvency, told a creditors' meeting in Christchurch yesterday that the prospects of recovery were "very slim".

Of concern was the whereabouts of $1.5m paid to NZ Premium by one large client, Grant said.

"We haven't seen this money turn up in the company bank account."

Grant said he would investigate allegations of reckless trading and the use of company assets on personal projects.

Evidence existed of materials supplied by creditors being used on Johnson's house in Auckland.

The company had also made finance payments on a BMW purchased by Johnson for $85,000 last August.

Johnson and his wife appeared to own a valuable property in Auckland but it was most likely heavily mortgaged, Grant said.

The company claimed to have about $457,000 of debtors but the debts were unlikely to be collected.

One of the debts was countered by a $700,000 claim, he said.

Grant said he would try to get back about $39,000 from Johnson for expenses charged to the company including cash ATM, $13,974; restaurants and cafes, $9175; supermarkets and liquor shops, $5992; household items, $7686.

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- The Press

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