Bust firms owe $50m

A Hamilton property developer who sources say owes more than $50 million to the Bank of Scotland International is adamant he will not "roll over and die" over the debts.

The Waikato Times revealed yesterday that mother and son Jenepher and Kenyon Clarke, developers of many Hamilton studio apartment properties, had at least 12 of their companies placed in receivership on Friday.

Many of the units they have built and rent are well tenanted - with CTC trainee pilots and hospital staff living in both the Peachgrove Rd and Knox St apartment owned by their companies.

The Waikato Times spoke to Mr Clarke yesterday at the Newstead house he shares with his mother. Mr Clarke said that all the businesses were still running and he was working with his advisers to recover the situation.

"I think the situation is retrievable or else I might as well f--- off or roll over and die."

Mr Clarke has more than 27 companies listed with the Companies Office and 12 were placed in receivership last week under the instructions of the Bank of Scotland. It is understood that Mr Clarke was several hundred thousand dollars behind in interest payments.

Mrs Clarke's silver Jaguar and Mr Clarke's black Range Rover were in the driveway, but a black Ferrari, which the Times understands is in the midst of being repossessed, was not.

Mr Clarke said he still had control of his undeveloped sites, including the Cameron Rd camping ground in Hamilton East. His businesses are part of the Sarvee Group.

The receivers have taken control of properties which are capable of producing a substantial income, with the entire Peachgrove portfolio potentially returning $40,000 a week when fully tenanted.

Mr Clarke is also the major shareholder of NME Group, a national electrical contracting firm. NME is not in receivership, but another of Mr Clarke's companies, Custodian Electrical, is, with receiver Kerryn Downey of McGrath Nicol and Partners now listed as a joint director.

Work on The Boulevard, 46 two-bedroom townhouses at the back of the Peachgrove Road site, has just been completed by Paradise Homes. About a third are tenanted. Tenants pay about $400 a week.

Nearby are the Peachgrove Apartments, one bedroom units used by CTC Aviation's trainee pilots.

Other Sarvee properties nearby are The Centrum one bedroom apartments, Vine House and Ivy House at 2 and 4 Vine St near the university.

Clarke's companies also run The Barracks and GHQ and Cavalry Court on Knox St.


Waikato Times