Regrettably but predictably Tony Tay Film Limited was placed in receivership on Tuesday 1st February. Initial details on the Companies Office website on Friday reveal there are two receivers: Anthony McCullagh and Stephen Lawrence, both from PKF Corporate Recovery and Insolvency (Auckland) Limited. The first report of the receivers is due out on 4th April 2011. (4 days after Auckland Film Studios Ltd’s balance date). Tony Tay Film Ltd is the majority shareholder of AFSL.
I first expressed concern to Waitakere City Council about Tony Tay after reading a Public Notice announcing Tony Tay Group was in liquidation on 29th June 2010. I knew he had had a number of companies go into liquidation in recent times. I rang various Councillors but Penny Hulse was the only one who seemed to know about the liquidation. It was not discussed at the Council meeting on 30th June so I sent an email to Vijaya Vaidyanath, CEO WCC on 2nd July posing a number of questions. I copied it to all Councillors by email. Vijaya said she would hace a meeting with Councillors next Tuesday and respond to me after that.
On 7th July a Herald report gave various assurances from Bob Harvey and on 8th July I expressed my concerns to the Henderson Community Board in Public Forum. That same day Jaine Lovell-Gadd, Director Corporate & Business Services replied to the following two questions as follows:
- Why were Councillors not informed of this (the liquidation) at the Council meeting on 30 June 2010?
Answer: As there was no change in risk to either Council or its companies, it was only reported informally to the Council.
- What is the financial impact of Tony Tay’s liquidation on Waitakere City ratepayers?
In the Herald article the receiver, Chris Horton had said the collapse of Tony Tay’s property development company was unlikely to affect the film business.
I felt otherwise so I addressed the Henderson Community Board on the issue the following night. I approached my 4 ward representatives, Assid Corban, Ross Dallow, Brenda Brady and Mike Jolley, but none seemed interested in getting involved. I spoke to Councillors from other wards and sent an Open Letter to all Councillors drawing attention to the recent string of Tony Tay liquidations: Jireh Huka Ltd (19/3/10), Jireh Hostels Ltd (24/3/10), Jireh Investment Trust Ltd (24/3/10), Tony Tay & Associates Ltd (20/5/10), Jireh Accommodation Ltd (29/6/10), Jireh Oceanic Hostels Ltd (29/6/10), Jireh Commercial Ltd (29/6/10), Tony Tay Group Ltd (29/6/10). Only one Councillor was prepared to ask questions on my behalf. That was Paul Mitchell. For that I thank him. Unfortunately one or two Councillors were quite sarcastic when I rang them but it didn’t deter me from trying to alert Council to my fears.
At the moment I feel a bit like Harry Markopolos.
I am thankful to Doug McKay, CEO Auckland Council, for giving me an audience and listening to what I had to say.