Former Māori Party MP and co-leader Marama Fox says she is devastated that the consultancy company she set up less than a year ago owes at least $70,000 to creditors after it was put into liquidation.
Marama Fox Consultancy Group Tapui Ltd has left at least two small companies, one a Rotorua travel broker, the other a Masterton IT company, in the lurch after it was liquidated last week.
Rotorua travel broker Amy Turuta is owed $39,165.57 and Ohnyx IT is owed around $33,000, liquidator Grant Reynolds of Reynolds and Associates confirmed to the Herald.
Fox was listed as the sole director of Marama Fox Consultancy Group, which was registered in Masterton and formed in October 2017.
In a statement, Fox told the Herald she would like to say more but had been advised by the liquidator not to comment until his report was complete.
"Of course I'm devastated that it has come to this and I apologise unreservedly. I am fully co-operating with the liquidator whilst going through this process. He will present his report in 30 days."
Turuta said that although her business was doing well and she could weather the close to $40,000 debt, she had expected better from a public figure and former MP.
Fox and her team had booked air travel, accommodation and rental cars with Turuta's business and charged back other costs such as meals.
"I thought she would probably be a bit more worried about her reputation than it appears that she is. But I don't know what's going on with her either. She's obviously got quite a bit going on.
"I thought she would have at least been in touch with me," Turuta said.
Fox, who was a list MP, lost her place in Parliament after her party polled just 1.1 per cent in the 29017 election and co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell lost his Waiariki seat.
Following that, Fox became involved in a consortium which wanted to build prefabricated homes for homeless or low-income families.
After a stint on Dancing with the Stars, Fox revealed in July that she and Ben, her husband of 29 years, had split earlier in the year and she had moved out of the family home in Masterton.