New owner won't keep Matariki winery staff

By Patrick O'Sullivan

Seven jobs will be lost if the conditional sale of Matariki Wines goes through.

The award-winning Gimblett Gravels winery went into receivership in September with debts of $11 million.

PwC receiver Richard Longman said the wine had been sold and there were conditional agreements with two other parties for the vineyard and winery.

The new owners were not interested in retaining existing staff, he said.

Staff had been told they may be given notice in a few weeks when the winery sale was due to go unconditional.

The first receiver's report said Rabobank was owed $8.7 million and Crown Asset Management, the entity set up to handle failed finance companies backed by the government's deposit guarantee scheme, was owed $2.2 million.

Matariki also owned the Stony Bay label and was established by former Junior All Black John O'Connor with his wife, Rosemary, after they returned to New Zealand in 1981, after studying wine in Europe.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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