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Another one bites the dust

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, February 7th, 2013 - 108 comments
Categories: economy, national - Tags: , ,

Another day, another company that couldn’t make it in National’s stagnant economy. But this company, Mainzeal, is a particularly significant case, our third largest construction company:

Why Mainzeal fell into receivership

Construction projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars are in limbo after one of New Zealand’s largest construction firms was put into receivership.

Mainzeal Property and Construction’s receivership yesterday sent shockwaves through the building industry and put the income of hundreds of employees and subcontractors at risk. The company was founded in 1968 and directly employs more than 400.

Industry sources said the flow-on effects would be major, particularly for the small businesses that largely make up the sector. “It’s bad news for subbies. Even if they do get paid ultimately, they can wait a long time,” said one source. Mainzeal is NZ’s third biggest construction firm, behind Fletcher and Hawkins…

There seem to have been a number of reasons for the closure, among them the legacy of National’s leaky building crisis. But the bottom line is that despite the energy of the Christchurch rebuild, a major player in our construction sector couldn’t make it. How much longer will the Nats and their spinsters go on claiming that there is no crisis?

108 comments on “Another one bites the dust”

  1. Fortran 1

    I am waiting to hear it is because of the high value of the Dollar !
    Which is not so in this case.
    They over extended themselves, but will soon be picked up as it is a comparatively small debt.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Mainzeal aren’t a manufacturing exporter. And why did Shipley and the Board agree to this move if it is just a small debt to the banks – was it to get out of paying subcontractors etc.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1

        Get out of paying for leaky buildings that they are responsible for.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Ahhhhh right….

          So all the assets, contracts in progress etc will be picked up by some new entity, but not the liability for previous work.

          That sounds so very fair and square to me.

        • History of Violence 1.1.1.2

          Spot on

      • Macro 1.1.2

        Shipley and the Board resigned on Friday last week I understand.

        • Peter 1.1.2.1

          Wasn’t she an advocate of liberal law changes that set off the “leaky homes” scandal which now appears to be a contributing factor to Mainzeals demise?

          • tracey 1.1.2.1.1

            Looks like Paul Collins has learned nothing since his Brierley days… particularly around ethics. As long as the cheque didnt bounce aye Paul? How many Crown entities does he sit on or chair? I know he is on Sport NZ, any others we are paying him to keep him in the manner to which he (as opposed to any of his shareholders) are accustomed?

    • Poission 1.2

      On 9-noon one of the commentators was describing problematic failures with an imported Chinese facade.One of the effects of the high dollar is substitution for local built systems and or products that have often evolved to meet local physical constraints.

      The other main problem is the effects on small subcontractors and suppliers who have little recourse.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2.1

        Yes, I saw that , “Chinese supply chain issue”.

        Another company |Ive heard about is bringing in window frames from Indonesia.- could be problems there as well

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2.1.1

          The facade issue could have been the Rotorua Hospital redevelopment, as\Mainzeal was the head contractor for this site, along with some others like it

        • tracey 1.2.1.2

          having to undergo the reclad of my house. Am using NZ manufacturers where I can. Leaving aside those that have dubious pasts.

  2. vto 2

    Mainzeal has always been a bit ropey and not known for producing the highest quality either.

    Their demise is not surprising.

    • grumpy 2.1

      Exactly, Mainzeal have always been bordering on the corrupt. Their leaky homes exposure has just made it more attractive to shut up shop……..meanwhile, for the parent company, it’s business as usual.

    • tc 2.2

      Wonder how the new Prison in the waikato’s close to mermere is holding up as they built that.

      Did they also do the one in the hawkes bay that’s leaky as and I’m told pretty much a health trap ?

  3. Adrian 3

    How many companies is this now where Shipley has had a senior directorial role and the company has gone tits up? I think it must be at least 5, she’s the kiss of death. Almost 50 years ago I sat School Cert in the same town as her, I sneaked in and she failed twice, fuck me it’s only Level 2 NCEA ( in fact watching what my kids have done I would say that in equates to more like Level 1 these days). Apparently she studied hard, I pissed about but I don’t have the arrogance to think that I’m clever enough to run a penny-in-the slot shithouse let alone a company or as we found out a country.
    The defining characteristics of the right wing nutters is their total lack of self-awareness and exactly how stupid they really are.

    • geoff 3.2

      +1 Adrian! 😀

    • AmaKiwi 3.3

      Gerry Brownlee’s CV (high school wood working teacher) wouldn’t qualify him for much more than minimum wage in today’s job market.

      Here’s one Labour tossed on the trash heap:

      Otago University BA (first-class honours), NZ diplomat (1987 to 1994), Diploma in Social Sciences (Distinction) in economics from Massey University (1993), Fulbright Scholar and Kennedy Memorial Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School in 1994 and 1995 (Master of Public Administration), business consultant with Boston Consulting Group in Auckland (1995 to 1999), Minister of Immigration, Minister of Communications & IT, Minister of Health, and shadow Minister of Finance.

      Since environment is one of his major areas of expertise and he’s already far to the left of the Labour Dinosaurs, I hope he’ll join the Greens. If Labour challenges him in his New Lynn electorate in 2014, Labour will give the seat to National (which they can ill afford to do).

      Scientists marvel that the dinosaurs survived so long with such tiny brains. Political scientists do, too.

      • Colonial Viper 3.3.1

        but which they will do, out of spite. Regardless, its not a foregone conclusion that the Nats would win that seat 😉

        • tc 3.3.1.1

          DC couild possibly win it in his own right if the mallarfia keep up their form.

          Why not a proper independant MP (unlike lapdog dunny), labour’s become like an old brand that’s just not like it used to be or ever can be, so time for a new brand maybe.

      • AmaKiwi 3.3.2

        The dinosaur’s survived because what they lacked in intelligence they made up for with viciousness.

        History repeats.

        • AmaKiwi 3.3.2.1

          Colonial Viper,

          You’ve been around and have good insights. What would be your advice to DC?

          Should he wait it out in Siberia waiting for the dinosaur extinction? Apply to the Greens for membership? Quit Parliament and find a more lucrative and satisfying line of work? Start a new party? Do you see some other promising options?

          • Colonial Viper 3.3.2.1.1

            AK let’s see what you yourself make of this; I shan’t answer your question per se because in your question it’s the context which is critical.

            1) Funny you mention Dinosaur extinction. Jenny is actually quite right. This current globalised civilisation is running out of time and fast. 50 years time and extremely severe climate change will be the norm. Life will be unpleasant for a lot of people. I’ll add that I think energy and resource depletion will impact more severely sooner than that. 15 years time. Less than one generation. Before today’s newborn finishes high school. That’s 15 years within which this nation will have some freedom of movement to act and prepare.

            2) Further, 3 Tory terms or 1 weak light blue Labour term is a high price for this country and its peoples to pay. But more importantly, another Tory term is not just 3 years: it wastes 20% of the available adaptive project time available to NZ.

            3) There are many ways to contribute to and influence the future. The inwardly focussed, disconnected, power compromised, diffuse decision making method through Wellington based politics may not be the best way.

            4) Nevertheless central government remains the single most powerful institution in this country for change; NZ has done it before and it can do it again. Look at what McKenzie and Savage achieved in just a few years. However all our current ‘political leaders’ seem to have forgotten that fact, or even if they know it, have no ability, inclination, idea of context or what direction to take the country in.

            5) Success on the scale of the next few decades will require a political approach which brings together a lot (if not all) of the people and groups in NZ society who today, don’t always have much time or respect for each other. But they will, once they get the scale of the challenges ahead of us.

            6) Of course it goes without saying that a private sector job would be far higher paying and with less BS and heartache than staying on in Parliament and contributing. But why let the pricks win? Also, the number one spot always looks grand from the bottom of the podium, but when you finally get there, it has very many of its own shackles and constraints.

            • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3.3.2.1.1.1

              AmaKiwi and CV
              Good stuff for thinking about and resonates with what I see and know. I get upset at the level of much of the ‘thought’ that shows up here, as brief as a strobe light, when there are serious problems facing us.

              CV Thanks for reply to yesterday and environmental change. Am still digesting.

              • Colonial Viper

                You are welcome indeed. I talk to a lot of different people everyday and interestingly, a reasonable number either already get it or are starting to get it.

                Of course, most others do think that their privileged fossil fuel powered lifestyle (the services and conveniences provided to them equivalent to having 50-100 servants [“energy slaves” in the parlance] working for them continuously during the day) is here to stay and that economic growth will return right around the corner.

          • Fortran 3.3.2.1.2

            The Greens will not accept him – he is too intelligent and is a realist.

        • Murray Olsen 3.3.2.2

          Dinosaurs survived because they grew feathers. They’re still around.

      • felixviper 3.3.3

        “Gerry Brownlee’s CV (high school wood working teacher) wouldn’t qualify him for much more than minimum wage in today’s job market.”

        Teaching kids to make things with their hands is nothing to be scoffed at.

        Everything he’s done since, on the other hand…

        • AmaKiwi 3.3.3.1

          @ felixviper

          “Teaching kids to make things with their hands is nothing to be scoffed at.”

          As a credential for running a country or rebuilding Christchurch, it is definitely to be scoffed at.

          It is disgraceful how unqualified Brownlee is (along with a lot of other MPs in all parties).

          • felixviper 3.3.3.1.1

            He’s qualified to run the country by virtue of the fact that he put his name forward and people voted for him.

            If you think there’s a better way to qualify as a representative in a democracy, I’m all ears.

            • AmaKiwi 3.3.3.1.1.1

              felixviper

              Getting elected doesn’t mean he knows what the f*ck he’s doing. Did you forget, Hitler got elected Chancellor of Germany. John Banks got elected MP from Epsom. Pam Corkery and Maggie Barry. Americans elect empty headed show biz personalities all the time. Ronald Reagen had Alzheimer’s but they loved him. Sarah Palin.

              How many thousand names do you want of people who are popular enough to get elected but unqualified and incompetent to govern?

              I stand by my statement: “Gerry Brownlee is disgracefully unqualified to govern” . . . and no sitting MP is better qualified to govern than David Cunliffe!

              • Rob

                Really, so now what is your new set of pre-requisite experiences and qualifications to be elected?

              • Colonial Viper

                The thing is, these days university qualifications don’t mean you know squat about squat either. How many degrees did Savage have?

                • Murray Olsen

                  I object!! My PhD means I know a hell of a lot about very little 🙂
                  I don’t think Big Norm had spent much time in the ivory towers either, whereas Cunliffe has. Formal qualifications don’t have a lot to say about how effective a politician will be, one way or the other.

                  • fatty

                    depends what was studied…John Key has an impressive work record according to some, but I don’t care for anything to do with economics – that will teach you how to be a prick.
                    I wish we had leaders with a background in social sciences & humanities.
                    The left are very good at silencing Left leaning academics. The right are good at using and perverting the work of economics & natural science academics.

                  • Alinsky

                    Murray Olsen

                    Got a tall poppy problem?

                    Among other things, your PhD means:

                    You know how to find information you need.
                    You know how to evaluate the quality of the information you find.
                    You can intelligently weigh the pros and cons of an argument.
                    You are aware of what you do NOT know and therefore more likely to seek expert advice on matters outside your field.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The MPs don’t need to be qualified as they have entire ministries with lots of qualified people in to advise them. Unfortunately, this government tends to ignore the advice and govern through ideology and, especially in Treasury, the qualified people are also only qualified in ideology.

            • Rob 3.3.3.1.1.2

              Exactly Felix, and also diversity is a key element of successful democracy.

        • Murray Olsen 3.3.3.2

          I understood that the point made was that Brownlee and his government had devalued all labour except their own, so that a person who could make stuff could only “aspire” to the minimum wage. I thought it was a criticism of today’s job market, rather than of useful skills.

      • Tom Gould 3.3.4

        Just shows you that highly qualified people can still lack common sense and reason.

      • Dr Terry 3.3.5

        Truly spoken Ama! This country is either or both suspicious/envious of higher education and qualification. This has been patently evident. Join the Greens? if only!

    • mike 3.4

      Bang on Adrian. Theses Nats are New Zealands answer to the Tea Party. Mixture of nutters and criminals

    • John Elliott 3.5

      John Elliott

      School Certificate always equated to NCEA Level One. The only reason that people now think of it as Level Two is the right-wingers’ new ploy of screaming that our system is failing because 30% or whatever are not achieving Level 2. That is the equivalent of the old University Entrance.

      Nice Goal-post manoeuvre!

    • Tiresias 3.6

      You don’t think she actually took any decisions, do you? She got the position for some combination of the following reasons and just turned up to board meetings to get bored and collect the fee:

      1. Ex.-PM on board looks impressive in Annual statements
      2. Ex-PM might have channels to the right people, or the dirt on public servants issuing contracts
      3. Was part of the deal offered to become Ex-PM. (Wonder what Bill English offered Mainzeal to sweeten the deal?)

    • georgecom 3.7

      Adrian. All new information to me. Can you list the companies you know of?

  4. Jenny 4

    That this company was unnecessarily collapsed by the actions of 1 National Party stalwart speaks volumes.

    That this individual will not be financially harmed by this closure and may even stand to personally gain, being a director of a business rival, says even more about National Party immorality and hypocrisy over concern for jobs.

  5. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 5

    This is a story to fasinate and alarm with ramifications for our future. There was a very good interview between Kathryn Ryan and a spokesman for contractors and one for builders.
    Things to observe and consider involved in this situation –
    * The rise of private equity, with one person shopping for companies that have a good look and probably largely funded on a basis of leverage.
    * The glamour of overseas connections and trying to make deals with larger business and financial entities.
    * The lack of legislation guarding the interests of contractors.
    * The lack of legislation in the leaky home responsibility and fault spread, wich should be shared by others such as the architects rather than just the builders.
    * The almost total use of contractors who are treated as unsecured creditors and while they wait for payment for their input, are actually funding their own work and some of the goods required.
    * The way that contractors receiving payment fall behind first, the IRD, then the banks.
    * Some contractors are substantial businesses with up to 100 employees, which will be severely hit.
    * There has been a squeeze on finance for projects with no fat to spare.
    * Mini and one-person contractors probably have needed to use their family home as collateral to get working capital, they are very exposed. Also the site has been locked down and the contractors with equipment there are being denied access to it at present, and the treatment of small business needs doesn’t usually include a desire to be helpful.
    * The expectation is that the contractors will have to survive as they can under our NZ business environment. Compare how the government was willing to cushion bottom-sitting investors who haven’t the need to get their hands dirty actually doing a skilled physical job as shown in the SFC debacle.
    * The government is always going to start running the country effectively tomorrow and we know the cliche about tomorrow never coming. Pollies like Brownlee with big talk and big presence are seen and heard talking everything up but without actual action to turn the recession around. A warning about the stagnation of work was given in December by the companys executive.

    Quotes from the stories connected to the link.
    Weekend Herald columnist Brian Gaynor wrote in 2008 that Mr Yan seemed to be “chasing a new pot of gold” every year. “Yan has problems focusing on one activity, setting goals, achieving these objectives and only moving to another initiative once he has achieved his targets.”
    Mr Yan had hoped Dame Jenny, as a director of Richina as well as Mainzeal, would open high-level doors within the Chinese Government, but by 2010 Gaynor was writing of her as one of the most disappointing politicians-turned-director. There was little evidence of her Chinese-door-opening abilities.

    • Scott 5.1

      Another quote from the NZH, an Anne Gibson story published today:-

      “Even Dame Jenny Shipley’s upmarket townhouse near Auckland Domain leaked: the irony there was that it was also built by Mainzeal and she chaired Richina Pacific, Mainzeal’s owner.”

      Does this ‘gem’ not encapsulate the State of the Nation?

      • tracey 5.1.1

        Of course while it cost the company 19m to repair… any levies she paid to fund the fight would have been more than made up for by her multitude of Director’s Fees.

  6. Scott 6

    Excuse the naivete, but can someone explain to me that while Mainzeal Property & Construction (MPC) have been put into receivership, its owner, Mainzeal Group Limited (MGL), has not? Why cannot MGL, or its owner, Richina, bail out MPC – surely it has the funds? Surely it should? To what degree are the respective owners, directors, and senior managers of these companies liable for such failures?

    • grumpy 6.1

      Idiot! When Mainzeal Property and Construction (MPC) Ltd folded, it took the leaky building liabilities with it!

      • tracey 6.1.1

        EXACTLY!!

        While the subcontractors are crying “stop thief” at the injustice of their tools locked inside think about the leaky home owners who just got royally shafted by Mainzeal… and more importantly the ratepayers in cases where the council was involved, cos the payout to those owners who claim will have just escalated on council.

        I really feel for the subcontractors. Sadly many of them are the same folks who blame owners of leaky homes for buying a cheap home… in the end the big construction companies and developers move around relatively unscathed by the mess they create in other people’s lives.

        • cricklewood 6.1.1.1

          It is true to a degree,
          NZ construction has been on a race to the bottom for years, no one works for free so the cheapest price often contains ommisions in which case you get hammered with variations or a lower build quality.

          I have seen and been involved in fixing/ mediating a few projects where clients ended up with a dog for the sake of $15000, most times they did not understand the specification or clarifications around the pricing and thought they were comparing apples with apples when it was infact apples with oranges.
          Some contractors are quite unscrupulos in the way they get in the door by pricing at very small margin or cost at the beginning with as many ommisions in the fine print as they can get away with. Once contracted the variations start coming and they tend to have huge margins.
          The best peice of advice I could give anyone contemplating putting a house build or landscape out to tender is to engage a quantity survyeor to create a pricing schedule and put together a tight specification. That way you are comparing contractors equally and the chances of an unwelcome suprise much lower.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2

          Sadly many of them are the same folks who blame owners of leaky homes for buying a cheap home…

          You get what you pay for and when you demand cheap that’s exactly what you get.

          IMO, NZ has become decidedly cheap over the last 30 odd years having seemingly been persuaded by the neo-liberals that everything is only worth what you’re willing to pay for it rather than what it costs.

          in the end the big construction companies and developers move around relatively unscathed by the mess they create in other people’s lives.

          That has to do with the laws governing responsibility and the fact that, seemingly, the laws are designed to protect the businesses from having any.

  7. aerobubble 7

    Sub contractors have been exposed, say the story, to the risks, as they wont get paid for work done.
    But, there are huge demands on their services from the building sector.
    Can’t help that they collectively withhold work unless they are paid up front, and their
    collegues are paid for work done (legilsative changes even).
    But you see we’re told by big media that hard working types are neo-liberals, they don
    tbelieve in collective protections across the industry, they like being the little fish in a
    ocean of sharks.
    Well goes to show why people get the government they choose, sub-contractors were
    as a group cheering on independence from unionize, and all that socialism, are now
    having to pick up the risks while others run of with profits.
    They’ll lose their homes, but where were they when wages rises were being held back,
    when unions were under attack, when naffy neo-liberalism was running the shop.
    And then to hear John Key ‘worried’ about their pain, about how concerned he is
    for sub-contractors (because he knows they vote for him).
    Labour have a real opportunity, sub-contractors do also, to rebalance the power in
    the building industry that favors fiscal gearing at the expense of everyone.

  8. tracey 8

    Interesting to hear brian Gaynor’s take ont he mainzeal thing, stating the parent company is the culprit andhas some chequered past, that the construction part of the busienss is thrivuing.

    I am not sure why the PM felt the need to wade in and offer his two cents…

    Interesting to that Ms Collins has said a resounding NO to more transparency for MPs through the OIA while simultaenously making it even harder to get information our of finance and other companies.

  9. grumpy 9

    We were involved in a project for a Nelson school. Mainzeal were building on “negotiated” contact.

    One of the subbies got an alternative material price for us of $46k, whereas the price he had been given by Mainzeal was $96k. He was told that if he wanted any further work from Mainzeal, that he should never get alternative pricing.

    Nek minnit, the Consulting Engineer got involved and Mainzeal’s mates dropped their material price to match ours – a 50% reduction.

    Always dodgy – even now in recievership!

    • tracey 9.1

      I have heard of attempted leaky home settlements under the Financial Assistance Package (FAP) where a building construction company agrees to settle under the FAP, so long as it is the builder who does the repair. It over inflates its estimate for the repair of which council and govt then pay 50%. I have heard one such company boast that it might even “make a profit” out of the deal.

      Of course it wont now because it went into receivership before the deal was struck… it wont make a profit BUT the council that wouldn’t entertain a settlement at 50% is now facing 100% of the claim cost.

      WHAT a mess. Still all the directors will get to keep their other directorships and even get new ones…

  10. JonL 10

    Mainzeal – that pack of pricks!
    Work on a “cut the price to the bone” to get the job, then screw out as much in variations as they can – they would charge you for farting twice, instead of the once “allowed for in the contract”
    A strategic bankruptcy…….they (or a version thereof) will be back….god help us!

    • tracey 10.1

      My father used to work for Fletchers contract dept a few decades ago and he said they were specifically trained to get the contract in a certain way so that they could ramp up the variations after it was signed.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Yeah and the small contractors who don’t have their own legal dept get subsequently screwed.

        • tracey 10.1.1.1

          and more and more companies are being set up by non builders as building companies. This means the director/owner takes the profit and no ongoing liability and the builder they use (with a License) has to carry personal liability for ten years despite earning an hourly wage only.

          We will be better off when we are back to small building companies run by builders, employing builders… speculators/investors and developers can fuck off

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1

            Builders need to unionise or collectivise, or they will keep getting screwed.

  11. Herodotus 11

    On a similar issue, there is concern that there are many sporting clubs also on the verge of collapse, be it be golf, rugby, league, cricket etc. especially as many were held up by the pokies. And what will be the social and community consequences.
    To keep on topic – I await to read the full story and ascertain how much of this collapse is due to leaky buildings ( botany town centre) that were constructed this century.
    Sympathies to all those unsecured creditors.

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    “I will know a corporation is a person when Texas executes one.” (A sign at the Occupy protests.)

    In the beginning (400 years ago) every shareholder was PERSONALLY liable for the corporation’s actions and liabilities. Corporations got a charter by specifying precisely what their business activity was and where they would carry it out. A railroad, for example, could not engage in real estate development or own farms, mines, or towns along its lines. A bank or insurance company could not engage in share market speculation.

    Another major change was when it was legislated that the directors are ONLY responsible to the shareholders. This not only excused them from social and environmental responsibility, it made it impossible for them to do ANYTHING socially or environmentally responsible unless the directors could defend their actions in court as the most PROFITABLE course of action for the share holders.

    That’s why the so-called capital system is so fucked up. It is completely irresponsible.

    That’s why it needs to be ripped apart and re-designed along responsible guidelines.

    It’s a colossal job, but someone’s got to do it. And it ain’t gonna be Shipley, Key, English, Joyce, etc. It’s got to be us.

  13. tracey 13

    There is a misconception that a limited liability company is giving directors limited liability. In fact it is shareholders to whom it attaches. However the Companies Act is a eunuch when it comes to Directors…

    • AmaKiwi 13.1

      @ tracey

      “The liability attaches to the shareholders” ??????????? Nonsense.

      Today shareholders have NO personal liability. Their shares can go down in value but not one of them can be personally sued for anything the company does. That’s why they are called “limited liability” companies.

      It is 1840. I own 100 shares in a railroad. Sparks from our locomotive sets a town on fire. A court decides the company must pay the town’s citizens for the damage. If the company does not have enough money, I and all the other shareholders had to reach into our pockets and pay the town off. We have unlimited liability for everything our company does.

      • tracey 13.1.1

        Read it again, the LIMITED liability attaches to the shareholders, and is not rubbish, it is they who are immune by right.

        • uke 13.1.1.1

          And if they weren’t immune, they would perhaps take a bit more care around what their investment is used for…

          Personally, I don’t see why the stockholders in the hypothetical railroad company cited above shouldn’t have to pay for the town catching fire.

      • Assviper 13.1.2

        It is limited to the value of the paid up capital

  14. bad12 14

    Supply chain difficulties originating in China???, don’t think so, Leaky building issues collapsed the construction company under a mountain of debt???, only if you like fairy tales,

    The major shareholder RichinaPacific like a blood sucking leach hoovering up any monies made by the construction company along with a series of board battles between minor shareholders and directors of the boards of both the major shareholder and the construction company???, now your on the page,

    The actual debts owed by Mainzeal Construction,(not to be mistaken for Mainzeal Group LTD) are as yet an unknown, what is known is that the construction company had a line of credit with the BNZ of $20 million dollars, not known is if this is an actual debt or simply a revolving line of credit used to pay both wages, suppliers and sub-contractors,

    It appears that other than a series of actual construction contracts and the odd million dollars worth of construction equipment Mainzeal Construction was to all extents and purposes a hollow ‘shell company’, any actual cash that Mainzeal Construction made from projects recently finished such as Wellington’s turd, the International Terminal at Wellington Airport and the nearby new Z garage and BurgerKing was either used to keep the Bank(s) at bay or quickly disappeared into the parent Mainzeal Group Ltd and overall shareholding company RichinaPacific,

    That is hardly surprising as that Bloke Collins a devotee of Sir(spit)Ron Brierly of the famed asset stripping Brierly Investments was a Director of MainZeal Group Ltd alongside former National Party Prime Minister Jenny Shiply,

    In 2004 Shiply joined the board of RichinaPacific where the trouble seems to have started, by 2008 minor shareholders in RichinaPacific were accusing Shiply of having ruined Mainzeal Construction as that company began to declare heavy losses, a pretty easy thing to accomplish if you also ‘own’ companies that supplied Mainzeal Construction,(not that i am accusing anyone here of actual wrongdoing, just pointing out how easy it is to ‘do’),

    It was at the 2008 RichinaPacific shareholders meeting that the minor shareholders demanded that Shiply’s head roll for the apparent troubles within Mainzeal Construction and rather than resign Shiply pointed to a number of heads in management positions that had already been sacrificed, and so,the experience in Mainzeal Construction was seriously gutted out of the company at this point,

    It took until 2010 for the major money behind RichinaPacific to remove her from the board of that company, however she remained as a director of Mainzeal Construction until her resignation in December 2012 after what appears to have been more acrimony between the shareholders and the board, presumably at the point Mainzeal construction had been truly gutted and it’s day to day business was reliant on the Bank(s) line of credit,

    Shiply thus remained as a director of Mainzeal Group Ltd until Her resignation on the 5th of this month when according to TV News last night Shiply had said She had called in the receivers,

    I have to wonder here exactly what the reported 1.8 million dollars RichinaPacific was to transfer to the MainzealGroup Ltd was to pay for, directors fees by any chance??? is this why the plug was finally pulled on Mainzeal Construction, the answer to that will be forthcoming when the receivers release the figures to show us if the Bank debt of 20 million dollars was the sum total of the construction company’s debts other than what sub-contractors are owed,

    The death of Mainzeal Construction seems to have started some time after 2004 when jenny Shiply was appointd as a director and the stormy shareholders meeting of 2008 when shareholders called for Her head to roll had little effect on the outcome 5 years later…

  15. ad 15

    What would Labour’s response be? Construction is a de-unionised, little-innovation, easily-undercut sugar rush, no matter when or where it happens. Fully agree National – led by the Great Dealmaker himself – have delivered the wrost employment record in decades. But Labour’s promised (laudable) housing construction boom is the same sugar-rush, and not a sustainable or high-salary economic fix for anything.

  16. tracey 16

    Anna, the limited liability, which was what i was referring to, attaches to shareholders, that is they have limited liability as of right, not thed directors. Its just been conveniet to mythologise it as attaching to directors.

  17. That seems to be a bit of a rip-off. Mainstream news said that they got paid by Cera and then subcontracted the work out. Does this mean they were simply a middle-man creaming off taxpayer money and then getting the work done by others? And then going bankrupt? How exactly if they were paid by the Government? Am I getting the wrong end of the stick here?

  18. tracey 18

    howit should have worked is cera paid out to mainzeal ONLY when mainzeal produced certificates showing it had paid off subcontractors

    • That would be the way, otherwise it appears that they’ve just taken off with the money and ripped everyone off. If they didn’t do the work, what did they spend the money on?

  19. vto 19

    Another one bites the dust. Been going since the ’80s funnily enough….

  20. bad12 20

    Obviously the law around the payment of sub-contractors need looking at again, i thought the Clark Government had revised the law so as to fix the mess where the sub-contractors got left holding the baby once the assets and profits were stripped out of the main contracting company and it collapsed,

    There’s 100’s of sub-contractors who have not been paid 100,s of 1000,s of dollars who now cannot even seek other work because the receivers have locked up all their tools and stuff on the Mainzeal building sites,

    100,000 dollar excavators are included in the stuff that the receivers have under lock and key that just doesn’t belong to Mainzeal or the receivers and something needs doing about this,

    We need a proper department of building where all monies paid to a main contractor are first lodged with such a department and where invoices of sub-contractors are also lodged so that it is they who get paid along with their employees befor the main contractor can get their hands on the money and disburse it to god knows where,

    Or in the case of Mainzeal Shiply knows where…

  21. Mosey 21

    Investigate McCully Richard Yan contact and McCully attempts to bully officials and Crown Enity Boards into supporting the Yan/Shipley China House project….

    • bad12 21.1

      Yes Richard Yan as the main shareholder in RichinaPacific has the answer to a number of questions along with Jenny Shiply which i doubt will ever be answered,

      I could speculate that with aid of directors Shiply and Collins(ex Brierly Investments)Mainzeal Construction was turned into nothing but a shell company and kept on the verge of insolvency by the transfer of any income of Mainzeal Construction being immediately swallowed by RichinaPacific which seems to be at least a reasonable summing up of the construction company up until February 5th and some what backed up by those sub-contractors now coming forward with claims that they are owed sums by Mainzeal Construction in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars,

      Mainzeal Construction tho had projects under way that appear to have been worth 100’s of millions of dollars with at least 2 of them near completion that i know of where that company would have been expected to receive final payments to the order of tens of millions and it’s damn sure right now that the BNZ owed 20 million dollars by Mainzeal construction didn’t instigate the receivership,

      Shiply appears to have been given the heave ho off of the board of Mainzeal Construction in December 2012 or should i say resigned at the request of the shareholder, so if it were planned that the shell of Mainzeal Construction be collapsed by anyone i would suggest that it is December 2012 that such a plan if there were one was finalized,

      We will get a better picture of this when the final tally of monies owed to the 100’s of sub-contractors is known,

      What is apparent tho is that Mainzeal had not a drop of cash in the bank, so assuming that at least part of the supposed 1.8 million dollars that was supposed to be forwarded from RichinaPacific to Mainzeal and wasn’t, was to pay the directors fees i have to wonder if such a non-payment of Her fees has seen Shiply as a director of Mainzeal Group Ltd toss the toys and approach the BNZ to have the plug pulled on Mainzeal Construction…

      • karol 21.1.1

        Well, according to Catherine Harris and Jason Krupp on Stuff this morning,

        Thomas Plumbing and Gas owner Harold Thomas, of Kapiti, said he had not been paid since December for work on the Coastlands Aquatic Centre in Paraparaumu. He was told by the receiver that it was working on the basis that there was no money left for unsecured creditors, such as subcontractors.

        “When I hear things like Jenny Shipley and all these people that were directors of this company resigned the night before – that really gets up my craw,” he said

        I understand it to mean that “the night before” was when the contractors couldn’t be paid back in December.

        Interesting that the main guy, Richard Yan, also,

        … spent a few years working as a merchant banker at Bankers Trust in New York, while setting up an investment fund.

        Also, I see that this guy’s business dealings involves the acquisition of tanneries, that sound like the successor version of Astley Tanneries, after it folded in New Lynn Auckland. Astley Tanneries was a family business that was one of the original businesses (estab late 19th century) around which New Lynn developed. Like a lot of the original businesses in the area such as the brick/clay/potteries, it didn’t survive the Rogernomics international freemarket shif of the 80s-90s. The Astley Tanneries like Crown Lynn potteries were NZ developed manufacturing businesses that shifted to other countries at the end of the 20th century.

        And so, now the tanneries have ended up being run by this guy who chased profits by indulging in risky, unstable enterprises.

        • vto 21.1.1.1

          Shipley has been running an insolvent company and that is against the law.

          Action must be taken. It is clear that people in the know have known about this for some time.

          It is no wonder that people have no trust in the corporate world. One way to bring back that trust would be to enforce the law.

          What say you Shipley? Didn’t you get a damehood? Doesn’t that mean you are fina and upstanding? How about fronting up to these people? That is what a Sir Ed would do…. do you have the same mana Dame Jenny Shipley? Or are you another Sir Doug Graham?

          • Assviper 21.1.1.1.1

            You have a good point. If the company was insolvent the directors can be sued for “reckless trading”. More should be…..

            • bad12 21.1.1.1.1.1

              LOLZ, they seen you coming as they seen the Law and how to ‘circumvent’ such Law,

              The minor puppet master in this little game of smoke and mirrors, Shiply has already publicly stated,(strange to have already come up with the statement which absolves Her of responsibility on the Day She had the Bank call in the receivers you might think), that RichinaPacific had specific undertakings with the Board of Mainzeal Group Ltd to pay Mainzeal Construction 1.8 million dollars by such and such a date,

              You can bet that such an undertaking is in the form of a letter from RichinaPacific so Shiply has the excuse of having a line of solvency as stated by RichinaPacific,

              Richard Yan the major puppet master has an out because He was not a director of any of the Mainzeal group including the construction company, just the major shareholder, who also happens to be the major shareholder in RichinaPacific,

              Take the profits,pass the buck, no care, no responsibility, leave the lesser mortals like the sub-contractors and the workers with no work and not even the tools to go and find another job,

              It’s the Neo- liberal way, it’s the ‘hands off’ Slippery lead National Government way, it’s the way of Knights and Dames of the realm…

        • marsman 21.1.1.2

          Interesting also is that Richina, the parent company, is registered in Bermuda, a tax haven. These pricks have it all sewn up haven’t they, plunder then hide the loot.

          • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.2.1

            This is all looking like a bad joke. On all of us, and particularly on the employees and subcontractors of Mainzeal.

        • thatguynz 21.1.1.3

          It would also be very interesting to know when he worked at BT and WHO he may have worked with there…. Could be some interesting correlation?

          • veutoviper 21.1.1.3.1

            Thatguynz @ 21.1.1.3

            That had also crossed my mind this morning when I read the Stuff article which provides some of Richard Yan’s background.

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8276547/Mainzeal-director-silent-on-firms-failure

            I did a quick google (but don’t have time to do more at the moment) and it appears John Key joined Bankers Trust Auckland in 1988 (some fuzziness exactly when …) and remained with BT until 1995.

            Articles on Richard Yan are similarly fuzzy re his time with BT. It appears he went to Harvard Business School about 1988/89 and some time between 1989 and 1992, he worked for BT in New York and then Hong Kong.

            So …. who knows? It has got me intrigued – nothing like a good conspiracy theory! But other priorities call at present.

  22. tracey 22

    yup, directors get big fees, shareholders get profit, and councils will be left carrying the cost of any Mainzeal leaky homes…

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      i.e. the rest of us will be responsible for picking up the pieces after Mainzeal and its directors walk off with the loot.

      • Assviper 22.1.1

        Most of the builders have already folded. Fletcher Building is only kept going by the injection of Government funding.

    • Grumpy 22.2

      Councils and Government always should have been carrying the cost.

  23. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 23

    Sounds like it is nothing to do with wider economic factors. They are just trying to avoid liability on a leaky building.

    • Assviper 23.1

      Correct!

    • bad12 23.2

      This has everything to do with Neo-liberal asset strippers running companies that are only kept barely solvent until they have no use any more to the profit takers,

      You carry on believing that this is simply an effect of a leaky building,

      Me i am sitting here watching the next cab off the rank Hawkins Construction, another of New Zealand’s oldest construction companies that has had it’s shareholdings repeatedly shuffled like a deck of cards at an all night high stakes Texas Hold’em poker game…

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 23.2.1

        I am not sure what you mean.

        What I am saying is that it does not look like a run of the mill business failure. The shareholder has engineered things to avoid liability principally in relation to a specific leaky building exposure.

        I am not sure neo-liberalism has much to do with this. A shareholder in a position to take security could have used exactly the same scheme under the governments of Michael Joseph Savage or Walter Nash.

        • bad12 23.2.1.1

          We are talking the same construction company here right, you know the same one that had at least 500 million dollars of work on the go as of the 5th of February and the prospects of another billion or two as it’s share of fixing 19,000 homes in Christchurch,

          Down the gurgler for the want of 1.8 million dollars according to the Director of the Mainzeal Group Ltd…

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 23.2.1.1.1

            Yes we are talking the same company.

            I am saying exactly what you are saying. Mainzeal has not gone into receivership because of weakness in the economy or because it was unprofitable.

            It has gone into receivership so that the company can avoid its liability to creditors.

            If it is the fault of liberalism, it is not the fault of neo-liberalism, given that the conditions enabling the shareholder to organise this have been in existence at least since the Companies Act of 1933 and probably earlier.

            • bad12 23.2.1.1.1.1

              Now you have changed your tune from that of one leaky building to one of avoiding creditors,

              You just havn’t got a clue, no wonder LPrent attached such a handle to you, Shiply may have convinced the Bank to call in the receivers because Her directors fees hadn’t been paid by Richard Yan,

              Richard Yan might have not paid the 1.8 million to MainZeal for any number of reasons including having had a hard month at the casino,

              The bigger picture would suggest that after the machinations and gyrations surrounding the shareholding and ownership of Hawkins Construction the 2nd largest construction firm in NZ might also be standing on shaky ground,

              No worries tho ae Gormless in the future we can expect mainland Chinese based construction companies to be bidding for and building this countries larger constructions, probably bringing in their own labour and building products to do it…

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                Now you have changed your tune from that of one leaky building to one of avoiding creditors

                Not sure how this is changing my tune. The people to whom Mainzeal becomes liable in relation to the leaky building will be creditors. This is who they are seeking to avoid liability to.

                Richard Yan did not pay the money to Mainzeal so that the could appoint a receiver, dumb shit.

              • halfcrown

                Well said Bad dozen

  24. Afewknowthetruth 24

    After trading at between $110 and $112 for many months (manipulated), Brent oil has risen by over 5% in the past week to $118.68 = another rise in fuel prices and a few more members of the present unsustainable economic system biting the dust.

    Without energy nothing happens. And without cheap energy everything grinds to a halt.

    No amount of money-printing by central banks is going to alter the geological reality of Peak Oil. Indeed, faster money-printing just makes the system more unstable.

    The good thing about collapse of the present global system is that it might JUST preserve a living planet for the next generation. However, it’s probably too late for that.

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