Waipa Delta hits cash snags

A move to warmer waters has failed to keep the Waipa Delta afloat.

CEANA PRIEST
Last updated 11:22 20/07/2011
Waipa Delta has been placed into receivership with its former owner owing family members almost $1 million.
PETER DRURY/ Waikato Times
Waipa Delta has been placed into receivership with its former owner owing family members almost $1 million.

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A move to warmer waters has failed to keep the Waipa Delta afloat: it has been placed into receivership with its former owner owing family members almost $1 million.

The replica paddleboat sailed off to Auckland in 2009 after an ongoing stoush between owner Mark Goudie and Hamilton City Council. But since ferrying passengers around the Waitemata Harbour, Mr Goudie said his poor health and hands-off management had contributed to the business' demise.

He said the two companies involved in owning and operating the venture owed family investors $700,000, bank loans of $280,000 and his home's mortgage. "The original owners will also feel extremely let down. They put the initial money into it and then I put one million into refurbishing it and I am going to end up with nothing."

Shortly after the boat journeyed from Hamilton to Port Waikato in 2009, then around Cape Reinga to Prince's Wharf, Mr Goudie suffered a kidney transplant failure. His illness – combined with "lots of small things" – saw him lose control of the business.

Mr Goudie said it was "not a broken boat" and turnover last year was $1.2 million. The boat was offered for sale last year for $980,000.

Mr Goudie questioned whether moving the operation to Auckland had been beneficial but ultimately felt the city's councillors had pushed him into a corner by not assisting in maritime compliance.

Corporate Finance receiver Justin Bosley said both companies owed an estimated $1.2 million to secured and unsecured creditors and 13 staff would lose their jobs. The boat has ceased operating and is now for sale by negotiation.

In February another Waikato River cruising business hit a snag when Te Kapinga Taylor listed his Cruise Waikato business for sale citing frustration at the lack of tourism infrastructure on the river. According to the company website, cruises have stopped for the winter.

ceana.priest@waikatotimes.co.nz

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