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Liquidation shows need to limit liability of innocents

The Grocer’s Market liquidation shows need to limit liability of innocent working people

CTU Secretary Richard Wagstaff said his heart went out to the people who had been working at The Grocer’s Market when he heard it was going in to receivership today. The Grocer’s Market, formerly Nosh supermarket Mt Eden was bought by disgraced real estate agent Aaron Drever just three months ago, and now owes hundreds of thousands to staff and other creditors.

"We’ve heard from the liquidator this afternoon that the people who were showing up and working at The Grocer’s Market every day in good faith ‘might’ be paid some of what they are owed," Mr Wagstaff said. "Mr Drever gave his word when he took over Nosh that the people working there would be properly paid, even if he had to sell his own house. Well, it turns out he put that house in a trust. Meanwhile, the already poorly-paid staff are going to struggle to meet their own living costs."

"It’s clearly possible for innocent working people and their families to lose incomes to irresponsible, unsuitable or frankly unethical failed business owners like Aaron Drever. They deserve better protection than his word that they will be paid what they are owed. We know the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment has been working on options to protect vulnerable people when they lose work, including mandatory redundancy payments. It’s time for the Government to revisit the rules around redundancy and liquidation, to limit the liability of working people for the bad business decisions of owners."

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