Dispute over Snow Park

The Lee and Synnott families are in a dispute over the Snow Park skifield on the Pisa Range and will attempt to resolve the issues through a confidential mediation next week, the Otago Daily Times understands.

John and Mary Lee and their son, Sam, established the Snow Park on Waiorau Station in 2003, but several years ago they advertised the station for sale in the hope of finding an investor to help develop plans for a gondola and the proposed Roaring Meg Ski Resort.

Snow Park general manager Sam Lee entered into a business partnership with Sean Synnott and his wife, Robin Sadowski-Synnott, in March 2010.

Sam Lee resigned as a director of Snow Park Holdings Ltd on May 25, but remained a 50% shareholder, according to records at the New Zealand Companies Office. Company office records also show the Synnotts' company, Alpine Ventures 2010 Ltd, is the other 50% shareholder, and that Mrs Sadowski-Synnott is now the sole director of Snow Park Holdings. She was appointed on May 19.

Documents available from Land Information New Zealand show Snow Park Holdings registered a caveat against the Lees' company, Little Bo Peep Sheep Company Ltd, on June 27, preventing the Lees from dealing with their land.

According to the instrument details held by Land Information New Zealand, the estate or interest being claimed was "pursuant to a lease commencing on 1 April 2010 between the registered proprietor, Little Bo Peep Sheep Company Ltd, and the caveator".

Associate Judge Osborne, in the High Court in Invercargill, ordered on August 31 the caveat should not lapse, except for a 0.2023ha block for which a partial discharge had been provided.

John Lee declined to comment when contacted yesterday.

Mr Synnott also declined to comment and referred questions to his wife, as director. Mrs Sadowski-Synnott could not be contacted yesterday afternoon.