Bevan Hurley

Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

Bankruptcy no barrier to overseas excursions

Andrew Krukziener
Andrew Krukziener

Thousands of Kiwi bankrupts are leaving their debt worries behind to visit exotic destinations.

From Italy to Japan, Malaysia and the Middle East, bankrupts took 6278 overseas holidays or business trips during the past five years.

Figures released by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment under the Official Information Act show one bankrupt who worked in the airline industry took 22 overseas trips.

Nine others took more than 10 overseas trips while bankrupt. Bankruptcy normally runs for three years.

Among the best travelled was property developer Andrew Krukziener, who took jaunts to Hawaii, Australia, Malaysia, Israel, Greece and twice to Japan.

Last Sunday, Krukziener was automatically discharged after serving three years as a bankrupt.

He will not have to seek permission from the Official Assignee to travel if he wants to go overseas for his Christmas holidays.

Auckland property developer David Henderson also took trips to Germany, Singapore and China while broke. He was discharged without conviction last year on a charge of travelling overseas without the consent of the Official Assignee. Twelve other bankrupts were also prosecuted for the same offence.

Rob Rendle, from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, said travel was only permitted when bankrupts had been co-operative and had met their statutory obligations.

"The Official Assignee's expectation is that someone other than the bankrupt will be paying for the cost of the travel so there is no detriment to creditors. One exception to this might be attending the funeral of a close family member.

"In some cases, the proposed travel is for the direct benefit of creditors, for example where a bankrupt intends to travel to take up a work opportunity to repay a bankruptcy debt."

- Herald on Sunday

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