Bevan Hurley

Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

Muir's 'modest' mansion

Greg Muir. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Greg Muir. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A former chairman of the failed Hanover Finance company is building a multi-million dollar waterfront home in one of Auckland's wealthiest streets.

Family of former corporate high-flyer Greg Muir bought the property on Burwood Crescent, Remuera, for $5 million last year.

Architects Sumich Chaplin - who also designed a yet-to-be-completed mansion for Hanover's Mark Hotchin in Paritai Drive - have designed a four-bedroom home to take advantage of sweeping views across Hobson Bay to Devonport and Rangitoto Island.

Muir, who is facing Financial Markets Authority proceedings from his time at Hanover, said he was downsizing after selling his St Heliers Bay home for $7.5m in December 2010.

He said the total cost of the "modest"' house would cost less than the sale price.

"What our family chooses to do with our living arrangements is not something for you or your readers."

Muir, a former Pumpkin Patch chairman and chief executive of The Warehouse, said the money spent on the property had been earned before he became involved in Hanover.

In April, FMA chief executive Sean Hughes announced NZ Warriors co-owner Eric Watson, former Hanover chief executive Hotchin, Muir and Ngai Tahu iwi figurehead Sir Tipene O'Regan, along with Bruce Gordon and Dennis Broit, would face civil proceedings relating to Hanover's failure.

Muir resigned as chairman of the troubled Auckland Blues Super rugby franchise days later.

Muir said he would "vigorously defend" the accusations.

"We have a view that is diametrically opposed to theirs and we have every confidence that our position will be vindicated. I take my reputation very seriously."

Under the Securities Act, the FMA can seek compensation from defendants if they are convicted.

A group of 3000 Hanover investors is working with the FMA but may also launch compensation action.

The new Muir property features an outdoor pool, an entrance courtyard leading to a library and gallery, and several decks. It is being built by Good Bros Construction.

The former house was demolished two weeks ago.

Muir bought the property from Roger Richwhite, who made his fortune with the BBQ Factory.

He still lives on a property next door and bought the homes from his brother, merchant banker David Richwhite, in the 1990s.

Muir's home is one of three under construction in the so-called "dress circle" street.

Two doors from the Muir property, former Fisher Funds chief investment officer Warren Couillault is building a new home.

According to property records, Muir also owns houses in Arrowtown and Omaha.

bevan.hurley@hos.co.nz

- Herald on Sunday

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