A company owned by Jonah Lomu bought an apartment from his father-in-law for $1,580,000 in 2008, almost $700,000 more than the former bankrupt paid for it 10 months earlier.

The deal with Mervyn Quirk was done in the early days of his relationship with Nadene Quirk, who became Lomu's third wife in 2011.

It has emerged amid questions over Lomu's wealth prompted by the establishment of the Jonah Lomu Legacy Trust, set up by the NZ Rugby Players Association to care for the rugby star's children.

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Association chief executive Rob Nichol told the Herald: "There's not going to be any great windfall. There's not great savings there. There's certainly nothing that's going to sustain any ongoing financial benefit for the family."

Mr Nichol said Lomu's "generosity" was a large part of the reason there was little left for his family because he had "taken on obligations of others - whether it's family or others close to him" at the expense of his wife and sons, Dhyreille, 6, and Brayley, 5.

Lomu's company paid almost twice the government valuation for the central Wellington apartment, even as the housing market slumped in 2008 as the GFC took hold.

Mr Quirk has not responded to calls from the Herald.

Lomu family spokesman John Hart, right, speaks during a stand up outside Jonah Lomu's home in Epsom, left is Mervyn ( Nadene Lomu's father), back L-R, Dylan Mika, Michael Jones. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Lomu family spokesman John Hart, right, speaks during a stand up outside Jonah Lomu's home in Epsom, left is Mervyn ( Nadene Lomu's father), back L-R, Dylan Mika, Michael Jones. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The deal came early in Lomu's relationship with Nadene Quirk. In February 2008 it had become clear Lomu had left wife Fiona to embark on a relationship with Nadene Quirk, who had just separated from the Auckland Blues rugby player she had married 10 months earlier.

Documents show Mr Quirk signed documents agreeing to buy the apartment in March 2007. It appears the deal did not proceed smoothly, with the previous owners, David and Hannah Dowsett, placing a caveat on the property a month later. The caveat served as a legal prohibition against Mr Quirk selling the property or taking any other action until he fulfilled the terms of the sale and purchase agreement.

The caveat was lifted in October 2007, when Mr Quirk took on two mortgages to meet the $900,000 purchase price. At the time, the property's government valuation was $832,000. The primary mortgage was from the ANZ, and a smaller debt was owed to the Dowsetts.

NewstalkZB’s Mike Hosking speaks to NZ Rugby Players Association head Rob Nichol about a new trust set up to provide for the sons of Jonah Lomu after revelations the rugby superstar died broke. Nichol tells Hosking of the hope people will be attracted to the ideal of giving something back to the sons of a man who gave New Zealand and the world of rugby so much.

Although Mr Quirk bought the apartment when the property market was buoyant, prices began to slip in early 2008 and were falling by the time Lomu fell for his daughter.

In August 2008, Mr Quirk sold the apartment to Lomu's company Stylez Ltd. The listed sale price on public documents was $1,580,000 - almost twice the $876,000 government valuation. Lomu's company secured a mortgage from Westpac to buy the apartment.

In the seven years since Lomu's company bought the apartment, its valuation has fallen, with records showing its rateable value has slid from $876,000 to $740,000.

Mr Quirk is bankrupt and public records show a string of business failures. It is his second bankruptcy, and Insolvency NZ records show he was first bankrupt between December 1991 and December 1994.

His current bankruptcy, beginning on November 5, 2012, lists his occupation on public records as "part-time tennis coach".

Mr Quirk has had four companies in which he had been director or shareholder placed into liquidation. He was a former shareholder and director in Holland Street Developments Ltd, a director in Millennium Pacific International Ltd, shareholder and director of MQ Property Services Ltd and director and shareholder in Platinum Property Management Ltd.

The four companies collapsed between 2002 and 2012, owing creditors about $400,000.

Among the debts was a chunk of money owing to Inland Revenue, which also took action against Mr Quirk over a failed GST claim from Millennium Pacific International in 2002.

The liquidator's report showed the company was hit with a penalty charge for "improper interpretation" of its rules after it tried to claim back tax on a property deal that did not go ahead.

The report stated the company had entered into a sale and purchase agreement to buy land "and at the same time filed a GST return claiming the refund on purchase".

The report stated "the company was unable to supply a tax invoice to substantiate their claims and the return was not accepted". It also said the "sale never eventuated".

Platinum Property Management Ltd listed Nadene Lomu as a director under her maiden name until December 2011, five months before it went into liquidation owing $40,212.

Nadene Lomu is being sought for comment.