Hotel’s cash crisis revealed


An Auckland property developer’s court wrangle with a Queenstown architect has exposed cash-flow problems with a local hotel project.

Norwich Properties, owned by Tim Manning, went to the High Court last year to quash a $41,000 statutory demand from architect Mark Gray.

Gray claimed he was owed money for work he’d done between September 2012 and April last year on an unnamed hotel development in the resort.

In January, Norwich finally settled on the $5.5 million purchase of Arthurs Point’s Coronet Peak Hotel, which has been rebranded Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak and is set for a $4m spruce-up.

Late last month, before the bunfight made it to a hearing, Norwich paid up.

A High Court judgment delivered last week let Norwich withdraw its attempt to set aside Gray’s claim - but pinged it $15,400 in interest, costs and disbursements.

If the interest portion of $4200 wasn’t paid in 10 working days associate judge Robert Osborne opened the door for a liquidation bid.

However Manning tells Mountain Scene: “We have accepted the recent ruling on costs and will be paying these.”

In his ruling, Osborne says Norwich “demonstrated an inability to pay its debts”.

“Correspondence over a lengthy period from Norwich has indicated that it has cash-flow problems which have prevented it from paying debts as they fall due.”

While Osborne found in Gray’s favour the judge didn’t award every cent sought because Gray’s lawyer didn’t stump up time records.

Gray declined to comment.