Mark Hotchin

Journalists whine about delays with OIAs and now they are whining about quick turnaround

Journalists always whine about the turn around time for Official Information Act requests.

They complain that the ministers treat the 20days as stipulated by law as a goal and a delaying tactics.

And yet when a minister who has information to hand and no reason to delay it they now whine it was a quick turn around.

Spare me, these pricks are so slippery when it comes to news.

Judith Collins’ office processed an Official Information Act request in just two days to release an email embarrassing then Serious Fraud Office head Adam Feeley in 2011.

The revelation comes as ripples from the Dirty Politics saga widened during the weekend after a series of bombshells including:

■ Collins stepped down as Justice Minister after an email handed to the prime minister’s office raised questions about her involvement in what leaked emails appear to suggest was a campaign by Right-wing blogger Cameron Slater and others to undermine Feeley while he was SFO boss.

■ Prime Minister John Key confirmed there would be an inquiry into Collins’s actions in relation to Feeley, with details of the inquiry to be announced today.

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Is creepy Labour stalking Judith Collins?

Stone Shi's house on Paritai Drive Image/ TVNZ

Stone Shi’s house on Paritai Drive Image/ TVNZ

Yesterday Labour via Shane Jones levelled an appalling accusation against Judith Collins, that she is living on Paritai Drive in Stone Shi’s house.

This particular nasty little rumour has been flying around for months as Labour and Winston Peters worked together to try to neutralise one of National’s most potent weapons.

Embattled Justice Minister Judith Collins appeared to be close to tears this afternoon after she was targeted by the Opposition over her links with wealthy businessman Deyi Shi.

Ms Collins was yesterday facing Opposition claims she lobbied a senior Chinese border control official on behalf of Mr Shi’s company milk exporter Oravida during a dinner in Beijing in the wake of the Fonterra botulism scare.

However on the way into Parliament this afternoon Ms Collins appeared to become distraught when asked by reporters about suggestions from Labour MP Shane Jones that she had been staying at Mr Shi’s home – the luxury Paritai Drive mansion originally built for Mark Hotchin.

“I’m really disgusted actually that Shane would do that. It’s actually really hurtful. I’ve been to the home that Mr Shi has bought on many occasions because he is a close personal friend and he’s away a lot but I’ve never lived there.

“I don’t stay there, I’ve been there. It’s because it’s a very place to go and look at and I’m sure that if he wanted to he could sell tickets for people to go and have a look at it.

“I never put the boot into Shane and yet he’s gone and done that. That’s disgusting.  Read more »

Chinese? No, NZ Citizen actually

I see Stuff has an article about a rich “Chinese” businessman seeking to buy Mark Hotchin’s now finished mansion on Paritai Drive.

The sale of the Hotchin mansion on Auckland’s upmarket Paritai Drive is expected to be finalised within the next two weeks.

Market speculation is focusing on the family of a prominent Chinese businessman with extensive business interests in this country as the most likely buyer.

Graham Wall, the real estate agent handling the sale of the sprawling clifftop mansion built by former Hanover director Mark Hotchin, said a sale was close.

“Supremely confident is how we’d describe our situation. But we’ve quite a few jumps to get through before before we could say we’ve sold the house,” Wall said.  Read more »

Sheppard loses another round

The ongoing defamation trial against Bruce Sheppard by Mark Hotchin and Eric Watson has taken another step with the court deciding that it will be heard as a judge alone trial. NBR reports [paid content]:

Former shareholders’ association chairman Bruce Sheppard will defend his allegedly defamatory allegation Hanover’s Mark Hotchin and Eric Watson were “crooks” before a judge alone, rather than a jury.

Justice Mark Cooper’s decision has just been released.

Justice Cooper says he agrees with the arguments of Messrs Hotchin and Watson’s Queen’s counsel Julian Miles that the case will be complex and ordered a judge-alone trial.  Read more »

No case to answer for Hanover, Watson and Hotchin breathe sigh of relief

The SFO has finally announced that it will not be prosecuting anyone from Hanover over the collapse. After years of investigations they simply have not found anything to warrant a prosecution.

The Serious Fraud Office is not laying criminal charges against anyone associated with Hanover Finance following a 32-month investigation.

The office has spent longer mulling over whether to lay charges in the wake of the Hanover collapse than in the case of any other finance company it has probed.

The Hanover probe was ” by far the most extensive and challenging of the finance company investigations undertaken by SFO” said acting chief executive Simon McArley today.

“While many may view the conduct that occurred at Hanover Finance as egregious, that alone is not sufficient for me to commence a prosecution,” McArley said.  Read more »

I wouldn’t rush at throwing Marshall under the bus just yet

I see all the usual suspects are lining up to have a larrup at Jonathan Marshall again. Word has it that Russell Brown is itching to run one up him, hard.

Brian Edwards has jumped all over this again, like he did on the Mark and Amanda Hotchin stitch up. Back then he may well have been right.

You may recall that the Sunday Star Times responded to my challenge to them to produce either a recording of Marshall’s ‘interview’ with Mrs Hotchin or his written notes of their ‘conversation’ by sending me a menacing lawyer’s letter requiring me to cease and desist or face the consequences. I published the letter on this site.

So just what has Marshall to do with the Barker family? Well Marshall is currently ‘Investigations Editor’ for the News Limited Network in Australia. I’ll let Jonathan Holmes,  host of the ABC’s excellent Media Watch, tell the story.

Seems Mr Marshall’s journalistic ethics and approach haven’t changed much since he left our fair shores: no point in letting the facts spoil a good story when it’s so easy to change the facts, just a little.  Read more »

Polls, Poles, who cares, sounds the same

Apparently Van Ginsbergen is now enjoying politics rather than motor racing…but who cares, it’s just a word, sounds the same…I really should stop pointing out all the error’s that Bryce Johns’ “decent journalists, trained and skilled” are making…but then he did email me to try harder.



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Hotchin smacks the FMA on the nose


Good to see Mark Hotchin finally fighting back against the leaking, whinging FMA. Usually they are the ones first to the news with sneaky little leaks about the Hanover case but this time Mark Hotchin has got his licks in first.

Former Hanover Finance boss Mark Hotchin is challenging the Financial Markets Authority to prove the failed finance company’s investors lost out for any other reason than the collapse in the New Zealand property market and the global financial crisis.

Mr Hotchin took the unusual step of releasing a press statement which he said summarised a Statement of Defence filed with the Auckland High Court on July 31, in response to charges laid by the FMA from an investigation that began more than four years ago.

Hanover froze repayments in July 2008 on $296.5 million of investors’ funds, at a time when it claimed $550 million of assets.

The FMA action only pursues redress for depositors who invested $35 million with Hanover between December 2007 and July 2008.

Remember too that Mark Hotchin, alone, still has all his assets frozen, despite there not being a single criminal charge laid against him. The FMA after years of investigation could only struggle to file a civil case. Despite what the NBR saysWhile the media hated on Mark Hotchin they are literally sucking off Kim Dotcom and lapping up everything he says….and Dotcom actually is charged with crimes, and has been prosecuted for crimes in the past.

You really do have to wonder why the FMA does not seek to lock up the assets of the other involved in the case. I should think that Mark Hotchin has a good case for victimisation.

How are they possibly going to do that?

ᔄ NZ Herald

A judge has told a jury to ignore the mad clamourings of the media intent on lynching directors of finance companies:

A High Court judge has told the jury trying Carol Braithwaite to ignore any prejudices they have about finance companies or finance company directors.

Braithwaite – the former wife of jailed National Finance boss Trevor Ludlow – is the first director from a failed New Zealand finance company to have a case before a jury.

As a National Finance director, she faces one charge of making untrue statements in a company prospectus. She has pleaded not guilty and will defend the charge on the basis that she believed at the time the prospectus was correct.

The charge, laid by the Financial Markets Authority, carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison or fines of up to $300,000.

Justice Pamela Andrews told the jury of 12 that there is no room for prejudice in the case, which started today.

“This trial is essentially about a finance company. You may have heard or read about trials of those who are directors of finance company, you may know someone who has invested in a finance company and you may have your own views about finance companies.

The media in New Zealand have run campaigns against finance directors, especially one director who to this date remains un-charged by any authority save a civil action by the FMA. Mark Hotchin and other Hanover directors have been hounded from the country despite not a single criminal charge ever being laid.

Not only that his assets remain frozen in a case of judicial travesty. Some outlets even gratuitously use the man’s name in order to make their bonuses for traffic from their website so search engine friendly is his name.

How on earth then are jurors in another case actually before a court supposed to put aside any prejudices regarding finance company directors when our media has held print, radio and television virtual lynchings of the same?

Dotcom searches illegal

ᔄ NZ Herald

Things aren’t going well for the authorities. Dotcom’s lawyers seem to get a much better run from Winkelmann J. than Mark Hotchin’s lawyers….he still has all his assets locked up tight despite still being uncharged criminally by any authority:

The High Court has ruled the police raid on internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom’s Auckland mansion was illegal and the removal from New Zealand of cloned copies of hard drives seized was unlawful.

Justice Helen Winkelmann found the warrants used did not adequately describe the offences to which they were related.

“Indeed they fell well short of that. They were general warrants, and as such, are invalid.”