A Bridgecorp director facing Serious Fraud Office charges has questioned the relationship between the receiver of the failed finance company and the team who rebuilt Eden Park.
Rob Roest, who will stand trial with Rod Petricevic next year, emailed the Herald after it was revealed that SFO chief Adam Feeley celebrated the charges against the pair by sharing with staff a $70 bottle of Gosset champagne from the Bridgecorp offices.
Roest asked whether the Eden Park Redevelopment Board - of which Mr Feeley was chief executive before the SFO - paid rent while based in the Bridgecorp premises when the company was in receivership.
The chairman of the Eden Park project, John Waller, was also the PricewaterhouseCoopers partner in charge of the receivership effort at the time.
"Did the Eden Park Trust Board pay rent to the receivers for the use [of the offices]?" Roest wrote.
He also questioned why the champagne left behind was consumed by Mr Feeley and others.
"Every Bridgecorp item was in the hands of the receivers for the supposed benefit of the investors, not for personal enjoyment, and certainly not for the enjoyment of a sub-tenant. Well, that is if they paid rent?"
Mr Waller has since left PricewaterhouseCoopers but is chairman of the Eden Park Trust Board and the Bank of New Zealand, as well as a Fonterra board member. He was not available to comment before deadline.
Mr Waller's former receivership partner, Colin McCloy, did not respond to questions.
Bridgecorp was placed in receivership in July 2007 owing 14,500 investors almost $460 million. PricewaterhouseCoopers recently announced that secured debenture investors would be paid an interim dividend of 3.5c in the dollar. Total recoveries would be less than 10c in the dollar.
Nearly $3.5 million has been paid to the accounting firm in receivership fees.
In Mr Feeley's previous role as chief executive of the Eden Park Redevelopment Board, he led a team who worked in the former Bridgecorp headquarters alongside receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers.
"Three or four bottles of champagne were left behind after the sudden exit of the [Bridgecorp] directors following liquidation," Mr Feeley has explained, adding one bottle was kept to be drunk at the end of the project.
"I ended up at SFO before the completion of the project, and considered that - there being no better claimant to the bottle - it was not unreasonable to recognise the completion of a major investigation and the efforts of the staff with a drink."
Mr Feeley faces an employment investigation after Serious Fraud Office Minister Judith Collins referred the matter to the State Services Commissioner.