McKenna bankruptcy delay attempt denied

A High Court Judge has rejected embattled property developer Nigel McKenna's last-ditch attempt to put a bankruptcy bid against him on hold.Mr McKenna is under siege financially, with creditors from a number of troubled projects taking action to try to get their money back.Fletcher Construction, which Mr McKenna owes more than $800,000 from the construction of the Holiday Inn in Wellington, is trying to have him bankrupted.It filed a bankruptcy notice against him nearly a year ago, in November 2009.

A High Court Judge has rejected embattled property developer Nigel McKenna’s last-ditch attempt to put a bankruptcy bid against him on hold.

Mr McKenna is under siege financially, with creditors from a number of troubled projects taking action to try to get their money back.

Fletcher Construction, which Mr McKenna owes more than $800,000 from the construction of the Holiday Inn in Wellington, is trying to have him bankrupted.

It filed a bankruptcy notice against him nearly a year ago, in November 2009.

Mr McKenna managed to drag the bankruptcy process out until today but at the last minute he roped in Queen’s Counsel Brian Keene for a new attempt at fending off Fletcher’s application.

Over the weekend Mr McKenna prepared a memorandum that proposed making two payments of $50,000 to Fletcher, one today and one on November 8, while he put together a creditors proposal.

Mr Keene said in the High Court at Auckland today that the proposal would involve Mr McKenna’s management contract for working on Todd Property’s Flat Bush development in Manukau.

At the hearing today Mr Keene formally withdrew Mr McKenna’s application to set aside Fletcher’s bankruptcy notice.

But he applied for Associate Judge Tony Christiansen to exercise special discretion to put Fletcher’s application to have Mr McKenna adjudicated bankrupt on hold to give the developer time to work on his proposal.

Fletcher’s lawyer Graeme Christie opposed this, arguing Mr KcKenna had already had plenty of time to come up with a proposal.

Associate Judge Christiansen rejected Mr McKenna’s application, saying his proposal could be brought up as part of the usual process when Fletcher applied to have him bankrupted.

He didn’t set down a date for the next hearing but Mr Christie said Fletcher would apply within the next day or two, meaning it would likely be heard in early November.

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