Mark Hotchin: I need $7000 a week

Mark Hotchin strolls to the luxury home he and his family are living in on the Gold Coast. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Mark Hotchin strolls to the luxury home he and his family are living in on the Gold Coast. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Former Hanover Finance boss Mark Hotchin wants a $7000-a-week allowance to maintain his lifestyle on Australia's Gold Coast.

The Securities Commission gave the Hanover co-founder a $1000-a-week allowance after freezing his New Zealand assets.

But that's not enough for Mr Hotchin, and the Herald understands he has sought to increase that limit to between $6000 and $7000 so he can pay for rent, living costs, a hire car, and private school fees for three children.

A High Court legal meeting will be held today.

Mr Hotchin's lawyer, Bruce Stewart, QC, said last week that his client was supporting seven people, and could not live on $1000.

As well as negotiating his allowance, Mr Hotchin's legal team will today seek access to a report by forensic accountant David Crichton, which served as the grounds for the court order against him.

The commission has refused to let Mr Hotchin or his lawyers see the document or discuss its contents.

This month, the commission made its first use of its recently granted powers to obtain a High Court order freezing Mr Hotchin's assets in case any Hanover investors want to bring civil claims against the company and its directors.

The High Court order - which has not been made public - could cover his bank accounts, an incomplete $30 million mansion on Paritai Drive, a $13.5 million farm and holiday home on Waiheke Island, sections at Jack's Pt near Queenstown, a 69ha Coromandel farm and a prize racehorse.

The flamboyant lifestyles of Mr Hotchin and Hanover co-founder Eric Watson have angered investors - many of them elderly - in their failed finance company. Some have said the two men lacked humility.

When approached by the Herald at the weekend at the Gold Coast property, where he is living with his family, Mr Hotchin would not comment on his lifestyle or investors' concerns.

Asked whether he was worried about the commission's action, he said he would "leave it to the courts".

Earlier, he said he would appeal against the commission's freeze. He has not given any indication whether he will return to New Zealand.

The Herald is fighting to get access to the full details of the High Court order that froze Mr Hotchin's assets.

Media applications were opposed by lawyers for Mr Hotchin and Tony Thomas, the trustee of some of Mr Hotchin's assets who was also named in the freezing order.

On Friday, the lawyers asked for more time to make submissions. Justice Helen Winkelmann said the media applications would be discussed in full today.

Thousands of investors had half a billion dollars frozen when Hanover collapsed in July 2008.

In the years before the crash, Mr Hotchin and Mr Watson took $91 million in dividends.

After a scheme to repay investors over five years failed, investors voted to swap their Hanover interests for shares in Allied Farmers, the value of which have since plummeted.

The Securities Commission is deciding whether to lay charges against the former directors of Hanover Finance, United Finance and Hanover Capital.

The investigation is nearly complete, and a decision is expected early next year.

Several parties say they are planning civil action. Tim Rainey, a lawyer representing 3000 Hanover investors, said he expected to have a case ready by February.

- NZ Herald

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