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Sub-contractors barred from retrieving gear at Mainzeal site

Published: 11:01AM Saturday February 09, 2013 Source: ONE News

A scaffolding company owed thousands of dollars by Mainzeal has been stopped from removing its property from an Auckland construction site.

More than 40 labourers from scaffolding company Camelspace turned up at the Hobson Gardens apartment building in central Auckland around 6am this morning and began pulling down their equipment.

The sub-contractors were locked out of the unfinished Hobson Street building after Mainzeal Construction and Property, which was repairing the leaky building, went into receivership on Thursday.

They managed to dismantle scaffolding around three stories of the 11-storey apartment block before they were told to leave the site.

"We started taking it down, [I] think we might have been working for an hour or two and then the receivers arrived... wanted to talk things through," said Camelspace director Phil McConchie.

McConchie said it was a costly process to dismantle the $1 million worth of scaffolding equipment.

"It's going to cost me $30,000 to $40,000 to get this equipment down. It's costing me $1000 an hour now with 40 men here, eight trucks, people back at the yard waiting for the equipment."

He said Mainzeal's receivers are costing his company thousands, on top of what they are already owed, by tying up the valuable scaffolding equipment that could be used elsewhere.

"There are 40 blokes that work for me. I've got a good business...this isn't going to kill us but you can't cry over spilt milk."

McConchie said there is little hope of recovering the $300,000 he is owed by Mainzeal.

Receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers said the matter is now between the building owners and the scaffolding subcontractor.

The principal receiver Colin McClow said that he could not comment on the situation at this stage.

Work has also halted at Shed 10, and Manukau Institute of Technology's new building.

'Declining financial position'

Mainzeal, one of New Zealand's largest construction firms was placed into receivership on Thursday.

Three of the company's former directors said that they have been aware of Mainzeal's declining financial position over the past year or so.

Dame Jenny Shipley, Paul Collins, and Clive Tilby released a statement yesterday which said management, including the independent directors and the Director and shareholder Richard Yan, worked hard on particular business challenges.

"Furthermore we had a three year business plan, banking arrangements in place, negotiations were going on with the shareholder and commitments were being made by the shareholder regarding future support for the company which would see it return to a cash flow positive position and profitability in 2013," the statement said.

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