The Companies Office has ordered a review of the asset freeze of Timaru businessman Allan Hubbard, who says he is now so broke he can't even afford a funeral.

The Government placed Aorangi Securities and seven of Mr Hubbard's other trusts into statutory management last June to "prevent fraud and reckless company management".

Then his firm South Canterbury Finance failed, being put into receivership on August 31.

Mr Hubbard told the Herald last night the asset freeze was dragging on too long and was having a terrible effect on him and his wife, Margaret.

"We're in our eighties and probably won't live till we're 90. We've got no money to even pay our funeral expenses, so I'd have to dig a hole in the backyard. It's terrible."

Mr and Mrs Hubbard filed for judicial action to the Timaru High Court on May 11, claiming the process pursued was flawed and the information used was unsound and inadequate.

But the Government has commissioned its own review of the progress of the statutory management.

A spokesman for Commerce Minister Simon Power said it was a sensible time to review the statute of management process as the assets had been frozen for about a year. The review will be done by TVNZ chairman and former director of ANZ National Bank, Sir John Anderson, and Rod Pardington of Deloitte.

Despite the timing, the Government said it started the review on May 5, before the Hubbards' court action.

Last night Mr Hubbard said he was digesting the Government's move but his legal action would continue.