Bankruptcy takes Lequeux by surprise

Olivier Lequeux.
Olivier Lequeux.
Former Dunedin mayoral aspirant Olivier Lequeux was surprised to learn he had been declared bankrupt yesterday.

"I am not aware of that. Really?" the 45-year-old told the Otago Daily Times last night.

When told he was declared bankrupt in the High Court at Dunedin yesterday over an unpaid debt to Wests NZ Ltd, Mr Lequeux said he was "quite shocked".

"What do I do, bankrupt? I should tell my lawyer."

He acknowledged he had a disagreement with the company's owner, and "he did it because I could not be bothered; I am probably an arrogant Frenchman".

However, he later contacted the ODT to say his lawyer would appeal the bankruptcy.

"It is ludicrous, and we are going to appeal."

He no longer owned the Mou Very bar in George St, and had "sold everything", including his Saint Omer bar in the Octagon.

"You can say Olivier came to this country and made it happen ... I am a happy man and it does not make any difference to my life. I came with nothing and obviously I have nothing."

The French-born New Zealander said despite the latest setback he remained committed to his adopted city, where he ran for mayor in 2007 and 2010.

A creditor, who declined to be named, said his business had been paid only a deposit by Mr Lequeux and had spent a year trying to get payment for an undisclosed debt.

"He didn't want to pay, so this is the conclusion."