Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

SFO closes probe into $46m Akl power job

Artist's impression of how the new substation will look once it is finished. This is the view from Fanshawe St, looking up towards Hobson St in Auckland CBD. Photo / Vector
Artist's impression of how the new substation will look once it is finished. This is the view from Fanshawe St, looking up towards Hobson St in Auckland CBD. Photo / Vector

A Serious Fraud Office probe into one of New Zealand's largest privately-owned construction companies - which involved raids on two premises and the seizure of computers - has been closed with no prosecution brought.

The fraud office last August raided two premises linked to Hawkins Construction and the $419 million upgrade of Transpower's Hobson Street substation, which the company was project managing.

Hawkins was contracted by Vector and Transpower in the substation redevelopment.

On the day of the raids, workers were sent home and security guards posted outside the project site.

But after an investigation involving the trawling of thousands of documents, interviews and industry experts, the SFO said there was no grounds for it to launch a criminal prosecution.

While parties investigated had conducted business in an "unusual" way, SFO acting chief executive Simon McArley said it was possible those involved honestly believed their conduct was legitimate.

"In light of that it cannot be concluded that the criminal threshold has been reached," he said in a statement today.

The SFO said concerns in this case had been brought to it in good faith but were not found to be substantiated.

- NZ Herald

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