Skyline vote on repaying wage subsidy

Most of the concern came from the tourism hot spot of Queenstown. Photo: Getty Images
Skyline shareholders will meet today for the company’s annual general meeting. Photo: Getty Images
Skyline Enterprises shareholders will decide today whether to repay the $7.9million wage subsidy the company took last year.

A motion was tabled last month by shareholders John Hilhorst and Cath Gilmour, who said it was a "moral question" for the Queenstown-headquartered company, which recorded a $56.7million profit after tax in the last financial year.

Shareholders will meet today for the company’s annual general meeting.

Skyline chairwoman Jan Hunt has written to shareholders saying the board of directors did not support the proposal.

The board is meeting in the resort at 3pm, but shareholders can only view the meeting by video conference.

One shareholder, who did not want to be named, said he had voted against the motion, as had every other shareholder he had spoken to.

"I think the motion has great intent, but it’s ill thought out."

However, he thought the vote could be split, depending on how the largest shareholders voted.

If the issue became a matter of debate at the meeting, he would support any proposal for at least half of the money to be distributed to community groups in Wakatipu, and the rest returned to the Government.

The board could also consider paying the money back in a year or two, depending on the company’s fortunes, he said.

The company also received $500,000 from the Government’s strategic tourism assets protection programme last August for its Queenstown luge operation.

It has received a total of $216,688 from last month’s wage subsidy.

guy.williams@odt.co.nz

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