Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

Building company liquidation saddens founder

By ANNE GIBSON

The collapse of builders Goodall ABL Construction saw the demise of one of Auckland's best-known names in the property business.

But founder and philanthropist Ian Goodall is no longer associated with the firm, having sold it to South Island interests two years ago.

Mr Goodall was responsible for $200 million of construction in Auckland over 19 years, is national president of the Laura Fergusson Trust for Disabled Persons and has been president of the Remuera Lions Club and chairman of a national road safety campaign run by the club.

Goodall Construction's work included quality buildings around Remuera in particular, often purpose-built for clients.

Now the Goodall name is at the forefront of a construction debacle that has left about eight sites idle around the city, the most prominent on Princes Wharf.

However, developer David Henderson, of Kitchener Group, said last week that he was about to appoint a contractor to finish 64 luxury units at Shed 24 on the wharf.

Goodall ABL was also building 68 apartments at The Quays in the Viaduct Harbour. Residents have already moved in as there is only minor work left to do.

The collapse of Goodall ABL has left Mr Goodall "most distressed" for the staff and contractors who have lost their jobs.

He sold the company to Amalgamated Builders Ltd (ABL), a prominent South Island construction company with offices in Invercargill, Dunedin and Queenstown.

ABL, headed in Auckland by John Greenwood, built hotels in Queenstown and also worked on the Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter. In Auckland, it joined Covington Corporation on the Railway Campus, converting the old railway station into student apartments.

Between 1979 and 1998, when Mr Goodall controlled the firm, some of the properties it built were:

* Clifford House, a reception/conference venue at 231 Orakei Rd in Remuera.

* Many buildings at Diocesan School for Girls in Epsom.

* Buildings for the Laura Fergusson Trust at 224 Great South Rd in Remuera.

* Two buildings at King's College in Otahuhu: the Centennial Information Centre and the science block.

* The Inland Revenue Department building in Otahuhu.

* WestpacTrust's bank in Onehunga.

* The Eye Institute, a substantial building at 125 Remuera Rd.

Goodall Construction employed 65 carpenters, labourers and office staff, had its headquarters in Newmarket and specialised in big medical and educational buildings.

Mr Goodall said the firm placed a high value on its subcontractors, suppliers, staff and clients, "and this together with our honesty and integrity has built up many lifelong friendships."

"It also gained us an excellent reputation and respect in the Auckland marketplace and community."

Mr Goodall, born in Te Awamutu in 1948, spent seven years with Civil & Civic, eventually becoming its chief estimator.

He started Goodall Construction in 1979 and semi-retired after selling it.

He is now working on various property investment and development projects. The first of these, Kingdon Lofts, a Newmarket retail and apartment development on the corner of Kingdon St and Short St, is about to hit the market.

The Auckland Business Centre in Clayton St, Newmarket, is another project. Mr Goodall is leasing serviced offices on this project.

Business associate John Maasland, chairman of Wilson & Horton, said it was a pity the Goodall name had gone down with the voluntary liquidation of Goodall ABL.

"I've known Ian since 1984 and he is efficient, always on time, competent and a good operator."

Rod Partington, of Deloittes, is in charge of the liquidation.

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