Give me 90 days: air show man

The desperate organiser of the failed Wings and Wheels Over Waikato air show has written another begging letter, this time to creditors asking for a further three months' grace.

In the letter, Ken Ross blames "wild media speculation" for the cash flow problems his company is experiencing and said this speculation was the reason the Commerce Commission obtained a court order to freeze his assets.

In March, the commission obtained the court order to prevent Mr Ross and three associated companies from touching assets.

They said this was to protect funds paid to Mr Ross by ticket holders, sponsors and exhibitors after they had received multiple inquiries from consumers who were concerned about aspects of the airshow and its promotion and that it may have breached the Fair Trading Act.

Earlier this month, the High Court at Auckland ruled that ticket money paid to Mr Ross would be kept in a secure trust account with Mr Ross' solicitors, to allow those who wanted a refund to get one.

The inaugural air and car show which was to be held in March at the Hamilton International Airport was scrapped after running into resource consent and organisational strife. Organisers now say it will be held in February.

Last month John Pringle, on behalf of Team Airshow, emailed ticket holders begging for support to get the show off the ground again and to fight court action taken by the Commerce Commission.

In the latest letter, dated June 24, Mr Ross said the asset protection order "could be lifted in 90 days' time".

"We must therefore request that you accept an extension to the moratorium on our account with your company for a period of 90 days from today, whilst the above review is fully completed and we can return to normal trading."

The Commerce Commission said while it has reached an agreement on how ticket holders would be refunded, the commission's investigations into Mr Ross and three associated companies, Hawker Holding Limited, Media Limited and Limited, are still ongoing.

Traffic Management New Zealand's Hamilton office was one of the companies to receive the letter from Mr Ross.

Company owner Dean Kebbell, who lives in Hamilton, said the company had been commissioned by Mr Ross to prepare a traffic management plan for the event but pulled out after Mr Ross began faltering over resource consent requirements.

He said in one instance Mr Ross claimed he had organised to use a field near the airport for parking but the landowner knew nothing about it.

Mr Kebbell said he had sent Mr Ross a bill for around $3500 for the work done to that point. He said numerous attempts to contact Mr Ross for payment were unsuccessful and they had resigned themselves to the fact that they would not get anything when the letter arrived yesterday.

He said the letter was "laughable" and they still did not expect to be paid.

Mr Kebbell said they would sit on the account for now but may eventually send it to a debt collector.


Waikato Times