A judge has turned down a bid by the liquidator of failed Napier-based charitable company Nature Green (NZ) to recover more than $200,000 which the liquidator says was paid to a major investor in error after the company's demise.

At stake was $212,728.79 paid to Napier businessman Colin Crombie in February last year for company gingko biloba leaf stock which had been released by liquidator David Petterson. Mr Petterson was appointed at a creditors' meeting in October 2012, almost four months after the company had been placed in liquidation.

A hearing took place in the High Court at Napier on April 3 and the decision of Associate Judge Warwick Smith delivered last Thursday says Mr Crombie is entitled to retain $187,487.15.

The remaining $25,241.64 may be repaid.


In 2010, Mr Crombie advanced $250,000 to the company, established to develop dried gingko biloba leaf and powdered extract for domestic and international markets.

After complex rearrangement following the company's inability to meet payments, Mr Crombie was granted security over the company's 2012 leaf stock, an interest which was registered on June 11, 2012, just over three weeks before the company was placed in liquidation.

Mr Petterson determined soon after being appointed that as liquidator he had no ongoing interest in the leaf stock, and sale arrangements could be completed, leading to Mr Crombie receiving the $212,000 in February last year.

But the liquidator told the court subsequent information meant the release had been based on incorrect information.