Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


SFO close investigation into Hawkins Construction


Media Release
22 January 2013

SFO close investigation into Hawkins Construction

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced that it has completed and closed an investigation into one of New Zealand’s largest privately owned construction companies, Hawkins Construction Limited (Hawkins).

In August last year, SFO investigators executed search warrants on two premises relating to Hawkins, and the $419m upgrade of Transpower's network Hobson Street substation that it is project managing.

The SFO prioritised the investigation as a matter of urgency, aware that the public interest was significant and the potential costs high.

Following a thorough evaluation where investigators considered thousands of documents, conducted interviews and obtained expert industry advice, the Office has concluded that there are no grounds to commence a criminal prosecution.

Acting Chief Executive for the SFO, Simon McArley said that while the parties appear to have genuinely differing understandings of the nature of the contracts in question, investigators have not identified evidence that would establish that Hawkins had the intent to deceive required for a criminal prosecution. “While the manner in which the parties conducted their business appears to us to be unusual, we have evidence from industry experts that it is entirely possible that those involved honestly believed the conduct was legitimate. In light of that it cannot be concluded that the criminal threshold has been reached,” he said.

This investigation had provided the SFO with a deep insight into the contracting and sub-contracting nuances of the construction industry. Whilst in this case a genuine concern was raised in good faith but not found to be substantiated, Simon McArley did not believe that this will be the last time the SFO will look into these aspects within the industry.

He concluded with a reminder to businesses of the importance of being truthful and honest in their dealings. “Attempts it disguise, bury or fudge the true nature of transactions can easily risk crossing the line into a criminal deception,” he said.

--

Background information
Hawkins is a company with over 60 years’ experience in the construction industry. It is one of New Zealand’s largest privately owned construction companies. Its role in the development of the Hobson Street substation is one of project management. The actual building work is delegated to a variety of subcontractors managed by Hawkins.

Role of the SFO
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was established in 1990 under the Serious Fraud Office Act in response to the collapse of financial markets in New Zealand at that time.

The SFO operates three investigative teams:
• Evaluation & Intelligence;
• Financial Markets & Corporate Fraud; and
• Fraud & Corruption.

The SFO operates under two sets of investigative powers.

Part I of the SFO Act provides that it may act where the Director “has reason to suspect that an investigation into the affairs of any person may disclose serious or complex fraud.”

Part II of the SFO Act provides the SFO with more extensive powers where: “…the Director has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence involving serious or complex fraud may have been committed…”

The SFO’s Annual Report 2012 sets out its achievements for the past year, while the Statement of Intent 2012-2015 sets out the SFO’s three year strategic goals and performance standards. Both are available online at: www.sfo.govt.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news