Liquidation action looms

Last updated 22:55 25/06/2008
David Williams
SURPRISED: Dave Henderson at Queenstown's Five Mile development in September.

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A Christchurch crane-hire company has filed applications for the liquidation of developer Dave Henderson's Property Ventures and Five Mile Holdings.

The High Court yesterday confirmed Smith Crane and Construction had filed applications on May 16 for liquidation of the companies controlled by Henderson. A court hearing on the applications is set for July 21.

Managing director Tim Smith confirmed from Brisbane on Tuesday night that the applications had been lodged in the High Court in Christchurch last month, after six months of negotiation over unpaid bills.

He would not reveal the figure, saying only it was "a significant six-figure sum".

Smith Crane and Construction is considering placing a newspaper public notice to notify the applications for liquidation.

Smith Crane and Construction project manager Andrew Burt said Property Ventures' lawyers had asked for "a couple of days grace".

Smith Crane would know by tomorrow if they had come to an arrangement on repayment, Burt said.

Smith Crane and Construction had been working on the Five Mile township development site in Frankton, Queenstown.

Henderson has a 15-year plan to build a town accommodating 10,000 people.

Henderson told The Press on Tuesday night he was surprised to hear the application had been made because he understood the matter had been settled.

"There have been issues with money outstanding between the parties which we've been working to resolve. Any of the issues we have been having have been a feature of a number of frustrations that relate to the market and relate to general funding difficulties that exist out there," Henderson said.

Another company, landscaper Morgan and Pollard, has confirmed it is owed money over Five Mile and is likely to join any liquidation bid.

Morgan and Pollard Queenstown branch director Ralf Kruger yesterday said his company was likely to become a party to any High Court proceedings.

Richard Smith, a commercial and corporate partner of law firm Duncan Cotterill, said for a liquidation application to be filed in court, a statutory demand would have been issued over an outstanding bill and the debtor would have failed to pay.

An application to liquidate and advertising that in the public notices did not necessarily mean the end for a company, he said.

"It (the debtor) has until the final court date to make payment in full or otherwise settle the debt with the creditor," he said.

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- The Press

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