Bankruptcy is just a joke, really


Bankruptcy is like a toothless tiger that benefits the bankrupt more than the victims

A former rich-lister recently discharged from bankruptcy is heading back to court, facing charges including misleading authorities and concealing property.

Jamie Peters, who made the National Business Review Rich List in 2006 with an estimated fortune of $40 million, was declared bankruptin 2009 owing more than $100 million.

Peters, a relative of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, was involved with a number of high-profile developments before his bankruptcy, including the $300 million East on Quay office development in Auckland.

Last year, he successfully fought an application by the Official Assignee to keep him bankrupt until October 2015.

However, the Official Assignee has appealed against the decision and is making a push to return Peters to bankruptcy.

The number of times bankrupts hide assets and continue to operate companies by using a puppet on the paperwork is so frequent as to make the process of being in bankruptcy pretty much meaningless.

Still, it is good to see there may be some chance in the wind

Jamie Peters

Charges brought against him:

*3 x concealing property
*2 x misleading the Official Assignee
*Failing to answer questions at a creditor’s meeting
*Contracting debt without expecting to pay debt when due
*Making a written statement to a creditor that was not a true statement of his affairs
*Taking part in the management of a business

Use of trusts, partners or girlfriends to “own” things and plain hiding of assets from the Official Assignee are very common.

What isn’t common is for bankrupts to be prosecuted for this behaviour.

It is good to see this may be changing.


– Hamish Fletcher, NZ Herald