Nielsen’s decade in Wakatipu


Bankrupt Queenstown developer Rod Nielsen’s decade of ups and downs in the Wakatipu

2001: Aucklander Rod Nielsen moves to Queenstown to develop Fernhill’s Heritage Villas

OCT 2002: New Zealand Herald says companies associated with Nielsen are named in a $3.5 million leaky-home lawsuit over an apartment complex – he accuses paper of “personal vendetta”

2003: Nielsen company pays $15.35m for 10,000sq m site near Queenstown Bay, later home to 16-unit Esplanade Villas

2004-05: Nielsen said to be behind building of Queenstown Hill mansion, ‘The Plasma Screen’ (above).

2005: Nielsen company pays $10m for 38ha of Walter Peak Station for lodge and eight cottages. Former South African tennis pro Wayne Ferreira reportedly buys a site for $2.5m but six years on, earthworks are the only sign of development. Nielsen this week says all roads are in and titles issued

EARLY 2005: Nielsen marries local Sirene Millar (right) in Fiji – 60 guests are asked for donations, not presents, which pay for a $25,000 SPCA animal ambulance 

JUL 2007: Nielsen admits dispute with Bridgecorp over debts on land behind Esplanade Villas

2007: Nielsen announces move to Las Vegas

DEC 2007: Site behind Esplanade Villas on market at $16m

APR 2008: Nielsen says selling large resort property parcels to concentrate offshore

2008-09: Slew of Nielsen companies topple

DEC 2008: Nielsen’s Earl St commercial building sells for $1.9m in mortgagee auction

MAY 2009: High Court orders Nielsen to pay $250,000 to Dysart Timbers; his estranged brother Greg, fighting Rod for $1.8m plus interest after a High Court judgment, begins bankruptcy proceedings against him

JUL 2009: Queenstown’s council pursues Heritage Villas owners for $300,000 to fix sub-standard landscaping by Nielsen’s company; revelations emerge of surviving Nielsen firm Little Rock Management clipping ticket on villa management fees, collecting about $140,000 yearly
SEP 2009: Nielsen bankrupted

OCT 2009: Insolvency & Trustee Service con-
tacts Nielsen lawyers for all books and records

JULY 2010: Pressing for “books and records … for his trusts and other company activities”, ITS tells Nielsen’s lawyers documents must be provided “as a matter of urgency” or they’ll face “a summons”; local realtor Duncan Brown (above) accuses Nielsen of being involved in running Little Rock Management, which wife Sirene Millar now directs; ITS tells Mountain Scene they’re investigating Nielsen for alleged breach of Insolvency Act. Nielsen this week says he has nothing to fear and disputes having any involvement in Little Rock while bankrupt

AUG 2010: ITS again threatens Nielsen’s lawyers with court action over company and trust records, saying they’re required for “an accounting investigation”

DEC 2010: Heritage Villas owners settle landscaping dispute, collectively paying council $45,000
THIS MONTH: Latest receivers’ report for Walter Peak Developments, co-owned by Nielsen and Justin Russell, confirms Strategic Nominees owed $20,644,318

THIS MONTH: Nielsen, over from Vegas, joins Millar to holiday in Queenstown at $1.3m ‘Plasma Screen’ owned by Lakeview Trust – sole director/shareholder Millar. They tool around in late-model black Range Rover worth $100,000-plus – which Nielsen says belongs to Millar 

THIS WEEK: Official Assignee David Harte confirms all Nielsen books and records now with ITS and “further action is ongoing to complete the [Nielsen] investigation”. Nielsen claims ITS tells him he’s not under investigation and disputes any delays

THIS WEEK: Nielsen claims he’s “brokered a deal” for $140,000 to soon be paid to council after his $150,000 landscaping bond for the Heritage Villas went west in the collapse of finance company Bridgecorp. Nielsen adds the new money is coming from buyers of a site adjoining the villas and it’s “a great result”.