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Hubbard supporters demand public inquiry

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Allan Hubbard
Allan Hubbard

Wellington, Sept 20 NZPA - Supporters of Allan Hubbard are "demanding" a public inquiry into events that preceded the receivership of South Canterbury Finance (SCF), in which Mr Hubbard was the major shareholder.

The Stand By Hubbard Support Team made the call after a Saturday meeting in Timaru, which the group said was attended by about 200 people.

Receivers were appointed to SCF at the end of last month.

In June, Mr Hubbard's company Aorangi Securities, seven charitable trusts, Mr Hubbard and his wife, Jean, were put into statutory management. SCF was not part of the statutory management order.

Last week, two further trusts established by Mr Hubbard were put into statutory management.

After Saturday's meeting, Mr Hubbard's supporters also called for a halt to the statutory management, saying enough evidence existed for that action to be taken.

The group sent Labour finance spokesman David Cunliffe a letter, which they asked him to read to Parliament.

Mr and Mrs Hubbard's lives had been shattered by the statutory management and a Serious Fraud Office investigation, and had worsened since, the letter said.

Hopes had been destroyed, lives turned upside down, and there had been "the gut wrenching fear and anxiety present when the accumulation of the investor's life's work is about to evaporate in front of their eyes".

In contrast to that, private sector interests had made large profits from the receivership of SCF.

No evidence had been provided to support claims made in two statutory manager's reports released to the media without the Hubbards' knowledge, the letter said.

The support team also criticised the role of Securities Commission member Simon Botherway, who told the commission he may have a potential interest in matters relating to SCF because of previous business dealings between his brother and that company.

The commission said it was satisfied Mr Botherway did not have a conflict of interest in relation to Aorangi Securities, Mr or Mrs Hubbard or the charitable trusts that were the subject of the commission's recommendation for statutory management.

The collapse of SCF triggered a $1.6 billion payment to depositors under the Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme. The Government hoped to recover between $1b and $1.2b through the sale of assets.

Finance Minister Bill English rebuffed a call by Labour for a commission of inquiry into the handling of the SCF bailout.

Along with other parties, Labour has been pressing for full disclosure of SCF's situation before it went into receivership, and a parliamentary inquiry into the way the Government handled the crisis.

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