Adam Parore says he would be millions of dollars richer if he
had not combined his assets with Auckland socialite Sally
He made the concession from the witness box at the Auckland
High Court today as his lengthy legal battle with his former
The court has heard that in 2007 Mr Parore and Ms Ridge split
their family and commercial assets into two separate trusts -
the Sally Ridge Family Trust and the Parore Family Trust.
"They wanted their family home insulated from any commercial
trading liabilities," Mr Parore's lawyer Zane Kennedy said.
Mr Parore said from the witness stand that he and his trust
would be in a significantly better position "to the tune of
many millions of dollars" if they had retained their personal
assets in separate trusts.
"This transaction was an absolute disaster for the Parore
Family Trust and its beneficiaries," Mr Parore said.
Ms Ridge's trust is claiming up to $830,000 from the sale of
a "palatial" property in Ponsonby's Arthur St, which the
former couple sold after their 2010 separation for more than
In court on Monday, Ms Ridge said following their split and
the sale of the property Mr Parore walked away with $930,000
and 100 per cent of Small Business Accounting - the
accountancy business she believed they co-owned - while she
received $1.1 million.
She estimated she lost $900,000 on the property after a
renovation project turned into a significant rebuild.
Ms Ridge is also claiming back pay and unpaid dividends from
the accountancy business.
She said she hadn't received dividends from the business
since September 2011 and wants a return to her relationship
with the firm as it was in August 2011.
She was essentially a silent partner and received regular
dividend payments, she said.
In the witness box yesterday she told the court "one day he
[Mr Parore] woke up and decided he didn't want to pay me
dividends anymore and tripled his salary".
"I was absolutely floored," Ms Ridge told the court. "I mean,
who does that?"
Mr Parore refused to pay her dividends because she refused to
contribute to the company's expenses or attend meetings, the
court heard today.
Justice Murray Gilbert questioned why Mr Parore "turned off
the tap" on dividend payments Ms Ridge was receiving from the
business, removing her ability to service her mortgage.
Mr Parore's lawyer said she "didn't want to know" about debts
the company needed to service, leaving Mr Parore in no
position but to pay them.
"It got to the position where, despite what Ms Ridge said, he
was in no position but to [cut her off]," Mr Kennedy said.
The business couldn't continue to pay Ms Ridge the dividends
while continuing to service its previous debts, he said
"He tried on numerous occasions to sit down and have a
Whenever Mr Parore tried to discuss the arrangement with Ms
Ridge, she wouldn't believe what she was being told, Mr
"There is a very significant degree of distrust between the
two of them."
The trial is set down for the rest of the week and will
continue with Mr Parore in the witness box tomorrow.
- Brendan Manning of APNZ