Films and Boats

 Mrs Hulse says west Auckland needs to grow its film and boat building industries. (Western Leader 14 October 2010). Why pour further ratepayers’ money into failing businesses?


When WCC put its first $3.85m into the film industry in 2002 WCC’s total debt was $160m.


When Andrew Maher set up Prime West Limited and Prime West Management Limited on 20th January 2005, being sole director and shareholder in each company with one share in each, he must have known something .


In a meeting excluding ratepayers on 25th May 2005 Councillors voted to form a private company by putting up the land and buildings and the business known as Henderson Valley Studios in exchange for a $6m share in a $15m company which was to receive a $1m grant from central government.


The project didn’t kick off until 21st July 2006 and became a joint venture with Prime West Ltd ownership comprising 60,000 $100 shares held by Waitakere Properties Limited and 75,000 $100 shares held by Tony Tay Trust Limited. Waitakere Properties Limited also became a minority shareholder in Prime West Management Limited.


In June 2010 I expressed concern to a number of Councillors about yet another Tony Tay company going into liquidation.


Had WCC put $6m into an ASB account at 6.45% in May 2005, it would have earned $1.935m over the next 5 years. So what were the returns? In 2008 a 2.5% dividend was declared, in 2009 a 3% dividend was declared, in 2010 a nil dividend was declared – a total return of $330,000.


Compounding the problem, Disney (NZ) Ltd, the main contributor to revenue in 2009, pulled the plug on forward bookings from 31st July 2010.


My attempts to discuss the amalgamation of Prime West Management Limited with Auckland Film Studios Limited (formerly Prime West Limited) on 23rd December 2009 with Graham Wakefield, Secretary of Auckland Film Studios Limited have been stonewalled. An appointment made by Jaine Lovell-Gadd, Corporate and Business Director, WCC  to ring me on Monday 18th October to discuss Section 222 of the Companies Act – Short form amalgamation, has since been cancelled by her.


A letter submitted to the Western Leader over a week ago re Film Studios has not yet been published.


Watch this space for further developments.

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