Three directors of failed builder Mainzeal, including former prime minister Dame Jenny Shipley, have reacted to today's $36 million High Court liability decision saying it has 'novel aspects' and that they are taking advice on it.

Clive Tilby, Peter Gomm and Shipley of Mainzeal Property and Construction issued a joint written statement via their lawyers Chapman Tripp.

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Mainzeal directors ordered to pay $36m by High Court

That said they would "acknowledge" the judgment but they then went on to raise questions about it.


"The court's basis for finding liability appears to have novel aspects which will require careful consideration. The directors will not comment further at this stage as they take advice and consider their options," the statement from the three parties said.

It arrived from Chapman Trip's senior communications manager, Karine Fox. But fellow Mainzeal director Richard Yan's name was not on the statement.

Whether the three plan to appeal the High Court decision is not known at this stage and they made no specific comments about going to the Appeal Court.

The High Court upheld claims of reckless trading made against all four directors including Yan and ordered that the directors pay $36m compensation.

Mainzeal went into liquidation in early 2013. The unsecured creditors are owed about $110m: unpaid sub-contractors $45.4 million, construction contract claimants $43.8m, employees not covered by statutory preferences$12m and other general creditors $9.5m.

The proceeding was bought by the liquidators seeking orders against the former directors that they contribute between $32.8m $75.3m to the company in liquidation.