Bankrupt developer Dave Henderson says he could cope with getting back into business under court supervision.
Henderson, 60, is under public examination in the High Court in Christchurch before Associate Judge Rob Osborne to decide if he can be discharged from bankruptcy. The examination is in its third week and was adjourned on Thursday to October 27.
He was adjudicated bankrupt in November 2010, with self-acknowledged debts of about $142 million.
The Official Assignee (OA) objects to the discharge and alleges Henderson failed to comply with restrictions.
Judge Osborne put a number of questions to Henderson at the end of the hearing on Thursday, suggesting his evidence was inconsistent with emails supporting the OA’s objection.
He asked Henderson how he would cope with a release from bankruptcy controlled by the court, given he preferred verbal discussions to paperwork. That would not work with the courts, Osborne said.
Henderson said he had no choice but to accept the court process and at least with the court there was certainty. The problem with the OA was the process could go on forever, he said.
The lesson he had learned was to be very certain about his statutory obligations and to “very dispassionately meet those”.
Henderson was mindful his frustrations spilled over and in the interests of efficiency and getting through, he would cope with court restrictions.
Judge Osborne referred Henderson to correspondence between Henderson and his friend, Ian Hyndman, in which Hyndman asked Henderson how much he would charge “to handle Derek” (Anderson, a well-known Christchurch property developer) over a property dispute.
Henderson emailed back saying Hyndman should keep a record of how much time he spent on another matter and they would do a “wash up” later. Henderson has previously said he did not charge for his services during his bankruptcy.
Judge Osborne said he was slightly startled to read the emails. It looked like a payment without being a payment. Henderson said he was not talking about wages and was just helping a friend.
The judge said other emails about what appeared to be a hotel project in Queenstown suggested Henderson was driving a new venture.
Henderson said he had no ability to drive a project and could only provide background and advice about prospects.
Osborne asked why large amounts received by Henderson over his bankruptcy were called “gifts” in the context of dealing with IRD and then called “loans” in another forum. Henderson said he would have to review the documents before he could answer.
Source: published 20 August 2015