Resort chopper firm goes under

Civil dispute: Police and Queenstown Airport management at Heli Tours' hangar yesterday PICTURE: JAMES ALLAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Police were called to settle a stoush at a Queenstown helicopter company base yesterday, when allegations were made about the attempted “theft” of two choppers.

The incident at Heli Tours Ltd’s base, on Sir Henry Wigley Drive, came a day after the company was placed in to voluntary liquidation by shareholders Paul Mitchell, his wife, Katherine, of Kelvin Heights, and John Mitchell, of Clinton.

Calls weren’t answered by the company yesterday and emails weren’t responded to.

A police spokeswoman’s confirmed cops were called to the Heli Tours base at 11.52am yesterday, but it was a “civil dispute, so we don’t have any further information”, while an airport rep says they’re not going to comment on the “private matter”. But Scene understands the “theft” relates to securing company assets after liquidation.

Liquidator Duncan Fea, of Queenstown, was appointed on Tuesday. His first report’s due this month.

“The responsibility of liquidators is just to secure all assets and then work through the priorities and the claims and so that’s what we’re doing,” he says.

“So, I’ve got no other comment to make at the moment.”

Incorporated in September 2009, Heli Tours operates chopper flights around the South Island, including the Catlins, Mt Cook and West Coast – according to its website, it operates an Airbus H120 helicopter and an Airbus H125. Last year it announced a merger with boat charter business Fiordland Charters.