A creditor of one of New Zealand's biggest construction companies is angry about businesses going into receivership but the builder's chief has hit back and defended the process.
The creditor, who did not want to be named for fear he would not continue to win work, said he was owed more than $10,000 by one of the Orange H Group, previously Hawkins which was New Zealand's second-largest builder.
Read more: Receivers probe 13 ex-Hawkins companies
Thirteen ex-Hawkins companies are in receivership: Orange H Group, H Construction Group, Orange H Management, H Plant, Orange H Construction, H Construction South Island, H Construction North Island, H Construction North Island Group, H Construction N.I, H Construction Hobsonville, H Infrastructure Holdings, H Infrastructure (NZ) and HUC.
The creditor's company worked on Hawkins jobs in Auckland and Christchurch and he is concerned he will not be paid.
But David McConnell of McConnell Group indicated there could be money for creditors.
"We sold the Hawkins brand and assets to Downer in March 2017, except for a small number of projects. Most of these were nearing completion, or for which we were in the process of negotiating final settlements. Those projects were retained under the Orange-H Group of companies but executed by Downer on our behalf," McConnell said.
"It's important to note that McConnell Group and Downer worked closely at the time of the sale to ensure all parties, including subcontractors and suppliers were aware of the arrangements and who they were working for.
"All projects, bar two, are now physically complete and fewer than 10 projects have outstanding final accounts waiting to be settled. However, as noted earlier, securing final payment for the various projects has taken longer than anticipated, creating a cash-flow issue that resulted in Orange-H Group being placed in receivership," he said.
"There are significant assets in Orange H Group – outstanding claims with customers in excess of $20m, cash-backed bonds of $14m and further retentions owing, which is why receivership, not liquidation, was the appropriate course of action," he said.
McConnell appointed the receivers as a security holder and was now providing full support to the receivers McGrath Nicol to help them achieve substantial recoveries for creditors, he said.
"McConnell family interests do not expect to receive any recovery from this action," McConnell said.
A receiver's letter out this month said it was not possible to tell yet what money was available.