$30,000 ex gratia payment made

A $30,000 confidential ex gratia payment was made to the liquidators of the Molyneux Park Charitable Trust, records show.

A former employee of the trust, Richard McAlevey, had sought the liquidation in order to get money owing to him after an Employment Relations Authority decision found he had been unjustifiably dismissed.

He claimed more than $30,000 but after liquidators' disbursements of $995.22 and fees of $12,500, there was $17,500 left for him.

He was employed as a groundsman by the trust from August 2005.

The employment relations authority found he was unjustifiably dismissed in November 2009 and awarded him $10,000 for hurt and humiliation, three months' pay, which later documents from his lawyer showed to be $12,500, and court costs of $3932.51.

Because the trust had less than $1000, Mr McAlevey sought a court order for it to be put into liquidation. He claimed a total of $32,765.37, which included $3143.89 in court costs related to his application.

The trust was placed into liquidation by order of the High Court at Dunedin in February 2013.

The final report of Insolvency Management Ltd shows the trust, which had ceased operating when it was placed into liquidation, had $995.22 in the bank.

''The liquidators' investigations resulted in an ex gratia payment being received,'' the report says.

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

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

When asked by the Otago Daily Times whether the council had made the ex gratia payment, chief executive Phil Melhopt said, ''I am not in a position to comment''.

When asked who made the payment, liquidator Iain Nellies said that would remain confidential.

Mr McAlevey said he was ''pleased another step in the process had been completed''.

However, he was ''annoyed to some extent that I have not received the amount awarded to me in a formal award''.

He was taking legal advice on further action.

sarah.marquet@odt.co.nz

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