Henderson upbeat over judgement

Bankrupt property developer Dave Henderson is putting a positive spin on a High Court judgement regarding a Gibbston water supply.

Justice Cameron Mander has backed Gibbston Water Holdings (GWH) liquidator Robert Walker's moves to get control of Gibbston Water Services' shares, by reversing an August 2011 transaction which, for $1, transferred the shares from GWH to Castlereagh Properties.

The company's water supply issues burst into the public domain in 2009, as one resident claimed he was charged $1000 a week, and in 2011 public health officials sent a terse letter after reports of people being cut off.

Mr Henderson - whose wife, Kristina Buxton, has been dismissed as a director of Gibbston Water Services by Mr Walker, and replaced by former cabinet minister Denis Marshall - told the Otago Daily Times the judgement was an irrelevancy.

''This is fundamentally good news. My wife has been supporting this company for some time, pumping money into it.''

Now his wife could ''get her money back'', he said.

The company was a break-even scheme providing water to deed holders with about 30 water connections, Mr Henderson said - including six connections through a property he was associated with.

Mr Walker said there were discussions between his staff, Mr Marshall and various Gibbston residents about what would happen with the scheme, adding: ''Almost certainly I will be returning to the people their water scheme.''

As to any claims by Mrs Buxton to recoup money, Mr Walker said, ''In the fullness of time, Ms Buxton's affairs at Gibbston Water Services will be closely examined.''

Gibbston Water Services had a water supply permit expiring in 2043 and, at the time Holdings bought its shares, Justice Mander's judgement notes Mr Henderson was promoting a hotel and spa development in the area.

Under a new deed of supply, water users were required to agree they would not do anything that would ''impact negatively'' on Mr Henderson's Anthem Group and its aspirations.

- david.williams@odt.co.nz

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