100% payout for Fortune creditors; Hotere to Hocken

The Fortune Theatre. Photo: ODT files
The Fortune Theatre. Photo: ODT files
The Fortune Theatre's creditors will be paid 100% of what they are owed, and a Ralph Hotere painting left in the aftermath of the theatre's closure is heading to the Hocken Library.

The trust went into liquidation after it closed the theatre unexpectedly in late May.

Fortune Board of Trustees chairwoman Haley van Leeuwen said at the time the board had been through an exhaustive process of reviews, and had closed the theatre because it was no longer financially viable.

A Ralph Hotere original artwork initially advertised in an auction after the closure was withdrawn in mysterious circumstances.

A press release from liquidator Insolvency Management Ltd yesterday said the company this week paid in full all creditors who lodged claims.

"This includes all external creditors, ticket-holders and members."

Before the liquidation, all staff had been paid their full entitlements, including termination pay.

Insolvency Management Ltd's Iain Nellies said the liquidation was almost completed. Some miscellaneous accounts were still to be received.

He hoped to finalise his administration by the end of October and then file a final report.

Ms van Leeuwen said yesterday liquidators got "a reasonably tidy business to wind up".

Insolvency Management Ltd was also transferring the ownership of the Hotere painting to the Hocken Library.

"We needed to wait till we were in a position where all creditors were going to be paid, until we really knew what was going to happen with the ownership."

Now the trust knew there was no money owing, it did not want to sell the painting.

Ms van Leeuwen said there had been a dispute over ownership of the painting.

The liquidators had made a decision its best home was the Hocken.

Asked who was involved in the dispute, she would only say the trust had not received formal gifting documents for the painting.

"Because we were in that situation we just wanted to do the right thing and that was not to sell it."

She said people involved in the dispute were comfortable with the Hocken as a home for the painting.


Such a shame for the cultural life of Dunedin, but well done to the Fortune Trust for seeing the writing on the wall early enough that staff and suppliers weren't left out of pocket