Hot Rod bows out

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The hot-shot branded “an absentee developer who’s somewhere in the United States” has broken his silence.

Rod Nielsen was called an “absentee developer” last Friday by the receiver who seized three of his companies, including Walter Peak Developments, after unsuccessful property selloffs.

By email this week, Nielsen says he’s actually helping receiver Anthony McCullagh and lender Strategic Finance quit the properties.

He’s thought to owe millions on his aborted $50m Walter Peak development.

Two other subsidiaries, one owning villas on The Esplanade and the other an Earl Street commercial building, are caught up in the crash.

Last month Nielsen said Earl St should fetch $2.5m – it went for $1.9m and Walter Peak failed to sell.

He’s let Walter Peak go because “the current economic reality is that it’s very difficult to secure necessary funding to take the development to the next stage”.

When first announcing his Queenstown property purge in April, Nielsen said it was to concentrate on Las Vegas developments.

He slammed New Zealand for having “the worst tall-poppy syndrome in the world”.