Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Blue Chip's Bryers loses bid to dodge hearing in person

Blue Chip's Bryers loses bid for video-link in bankruptcy hearing

By Paul McBeth

Sep. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Former Blue Chip principal Mark Bryers has lost a bid to avoid appearing in person at a High Court hearing to discharge his bankruptcy, with the judge turning down his request to be examined via a video-link from Australia, where he now lives.

Associate Judge Jan-Marie Doogue declined to make an order letting Bryers be examined by video-link at a hearing where the Official Assignee will object to his discharge from bankruptcy, according to a Sept. 4 judgment published today.

Bryers sought to be excused from appearing in person, saying one of the issues of concern was negative publicity that would accompany his return to New Zealand that could "potentially turn the matter into a 'media spectacle and would likely inhibit my ability to property deal with the examination'," the judgment said.

"He says that in the past the past when he has been back in New Zealand he was subjected to unfavourable and defamatory media coverage and that led to him being subjected to 'considerable harassment' by members of the public outside the Auckland courts and physical threats being made against him and his family on the internet," it said.

Bryers contended it would be easier to have a video-link, which the estimated $24,000 cost able to be covered by arrangements with his employer.

The Official Assignee opposed the video-link proposal after receiving information concerning Bryers's alleged conduct while a bankrupt that meant an examination would be more effective in person.

The judge said she was confident the court would be able to ensure an orderly hearing that would be fair for each side, and that it was unlikely Bryers would be unsafe or subject to unacceptable harassment.

The high media interest arose from Bryers's elevated public profile and the extent of Blue Chip's collapse may attract members of the public to the hearing, the judge said.

"While those sorts of factors may make Mr Bryers uncomfortable, in my view, it is the price that has to be paid for the hearing taking place in public under an open system of justice," the judge said. "I do not consider that it can be said that he suffers from a lack of resilience which will enable him to manage himself when he comes to the Court if an order is made to that effect."

The Blue Chip group of companies failed in 2008 owing $84 million to more than 2,000 investors, and its liquidator Meltzer Mason Heath dropped civil proceedings against the firm's former directors and auditors after it was unable to raise enough funds for a legal battle.

The Financial Markets Authority dropped an investigation into the group after Blue Chip-funded developers reached a settlement with investors. The FMA had reviewed a decision by its predecessor, the Securities Commission, after a 2012 Supreme Court judgment agreed with a group of investors that Blue Chip's investment scheme marketing between 2005 and 2007 was an offering of securities to the public in terms of the Securities Act 1978 and required a prospectus.

Separately, Blue Chip was investigated by the Serious Fraud Office, which decided there was insufficient evidence to pursue a prosecution, while saying the firm operated in a "moral vacuum".

Bryers escaped a prison sentence in 2010 when he pleaded guilty to 34 charges relating to the company's mismanagement and improper accounting, and received a $33,750 fine and 75 hours' community work.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news