Three people have been charged over bribery allegations worth more than $1 million involving former employees of Auckland Transport and Rodney District Council.
Stephen James Borlase, 50, Barrie Kenneth James George, 68, and one other person who has name suppression appeared in North Shore District Court today facing charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over the corruption and bribery of an official.
It is alleged that while in various engineering and management roles either at Auckland Transport or Rodney District Council, George and an associate received undisclosed payments or gratuities from Borlase, the director of Projenz Ltd, a supplier to AT and RDC.
The gratuities often came in the form of cash, travel, accommodation and entertainment, and took place between 2005 and 2013, the SFO claims.
It is alleged a culture was created within the road maintenance division where "the acceptance of gratuities was part and parcel of the working environment", according to the SFO.
"The SFO is committed to preventing corruption from taking root through investigating and prosecuting offending in the public or private sector," SFO director, Julie Read said.
"This is an important aspect of protecting New Zealand's reputation as a safe place to invest and do business and to allow our economy to prosper."
Borlase, who faces eight bribery charges and four of false pretences, indicated in a statement after his court appearance that he would plead not guilty to all charges "as I know I have done no wrong."
"Not only do I deny the claims, I am completely confident that no inappropriate or unlawful payment has been made by my company."
He said he had instructed his lawyer not to apply for name suppression as "I consider that I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of."
However, he had decided to step aside from the day-to-day running of his company pending resolution of the case, to protect its good name and reputation.
Neither George, who faces four bribery charges and did not seek name suppression, nor his lawyer would comment outside court.
The trio were remanded on bail until May 18.