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Bankrupt David Henderson's lawyer has taken the blame for his client's failure to seek permission for a holiday in Australia.

The former rich-lister and Princes Wharf developer was declared bankrupt in the High Court at Auckland last Thursday over debts of $3.7 million to the Inland Revenue Department.

His lawyer Daniel Grove told last night his client had taken a pre-arranged vacation to Australia and that he would be back in the country later this month.

He now says he's taking the blame for failing to advise his client of the travel restrictions that were in place.

"I can confirm that the bankrupt's lawyer has been in touch and has taken responsibility for not advising his client that the travel restrictions take effect immediately on adjudication and do not require the OA to advise the bankrupt directly first," Official Assignee regional manager David Harte said.

Harte said Henderson told him he had no intent to flee or impede their investigations and had pledged full co-operation.

"Immediately on his return he will be fully interviewed in regard to his financial position and also the circumstances surrounding the unauthorised travel.

"Once this has been completed I will make a fair and reasoned decision, based on the available evidence, as to what should be done about this specific travel."

Henderson could face jail time or a maximum fine of $10,000 if he is convicted.