Groundsman applying for liquidation

In a continued effort to get money owed to him, former Molyneux Park groundsman Richard McAlevey has applied to the High Court for his former employer to be placed into liquidation.

He was employed by the Molyneux Park Charitable Trust in Alexandra from August 2005 until November 2009 and had claimed he had been unjustifiably dismissed.

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) upheld his claim and awarded him $10,000 in compensation for hurt and humiliation and an undisclosed sum, equal to three months' pay in September.

The following month, it also awarded costs of $3932.51 to Mr McAlevey.

In a statement of claim Mr McAlevey, through his lawyer Kieran Tohill, is claiming a total of $26,432.51 from the trust. The document lists the undisclosed sum worth three months' pay as $12,500.

''The defendant has advised that they are not able to pay and have funds and assets available to make a payment of $900 only,'' the document said.

Because of that, Mr McAlevey has sought a court order for the trust to be put into liquidation.

His application will be heard by the High Court in Dunedin on February 11.

Following the ERA decision in October, Mr McAlevey said he was aware the trust had little money but was ''following legal procedures''.

Yesterday, he said the High Court action was the outcomeof those procedures.

''I said at the time I would be taking legal proceedings and that's what I have done ... this is just a legal step on the way [to getting compensation].''

The document also noted the trust had not made any appeal or filed for a hearing since the authority's decision.

Trust administrator Mark Tait said while the potential liquidation was disappointing, he understood where Mr McAlevey was coming from.

He also said, ''at this point'' he was not sure if the trust needed legal representation when the court decided whether or not to order the liquidation.

He said the trust would not be challenging the application as ''we don't have the resources''.

''We'll just wait for the decision ... we'll just wait and see what happens.''

He said in a way McAlevey's application was a good thing because, if it was granted, it would draw to a close a lengthy process.

The trustees had resolved to wind up the trust about August 2011 but that could not officially be done while there were things relating to the trust before the court - the Employment Relations Authority and now the High Court.

When it operated, the trust was funded by the Central Otago District Council, which administers the park, and through various other grants.

Since the trust ceased operating, the council had taken over management of the park and appointed a maintenance contracting company.

- sarah.marquet@odt.co.nz