Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

Jailed property developer says sorry

Huh Jae-ho's assistant says personal issues will not interfere with apartment projects.

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

A spokesman for the jailed South Korean developer who once proposed New Zealand's tallest apartment tower says "personal" issues should not hinder or harm any of the business interests left behind here.

Sean Park, general manager of Auckland-based KNC Construction which Huh Jae-ho chaired, said Huh wanted to apologise for the disturbance his issues may have caused.

Korean media reported last month that when the former Daeju chief returned home after living overseas for four years, he went to jail.

What they failed to say was that he had been living in Auckland, in the luxury Metropolis apartment tower, while his own Government wanted him for a multimillion-dollar tax bill.

"He was taken straight to prison labour house to pay off his fine," Korea JoongAng Daily said.

Park said it was only when the Herald began publishing articles about construction plans by new owners for a former Daeju site that Korean media reported Huh's activities and raised questions about those and the huge tax bill.

"Who's Daeju, is he still making money? It snowballed from there into casinos and gambling and the luxury lifestyle and the sentence," Park said.

It was "regretful" that Huh faced "misfortunate issues in Korea" but that it was important to realise these were personal.

"They should not involve or interfere [with] any of the companies or businesses here in New Zealand. Also there are no legal obligations from New Zealand to be part in this matter," Park said.

KNC was developing two Auckland apartment projects which would be worth $61 million, creating 150 full-time construction jobs and residences for 500 people.

Park said Huh had been charged with not paying $17.3 million tax for which he had incurred a $27 million fine.

He said Huh had no shareholdings or directorships in any of the companies in New Zealand.

KNC construction jobs

Fiore Hobson 2, 164 Hobson St:
14 levels, 74 units, total cost $25m.

Fiore Mt Eden, 25 Enfield St:
Five levels, 94 units, total cost $36m.

Source: KNC Construction.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n6 at 02 Aug 2014 17:20:02 Processing Time: 2374ms