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Failed tourism venture launches DIY seminar

By Deborah Hill Cone

Friday 7th February 2003

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Failed Louis Vuitton Cup spectator venture Manukau Events yesterday said it was an oversight that it had sent out invitations to a seminar on tourism the day after being placed in liquidation.

Manukau Events and Enterprising Manukau were placed in liquidation at 5pm on January 29, owing charter boat company Kawau Kats and out-of-pocket corporate clients thousands of dollars.

One creditor was stunned to receive an email from Manukau Events the next day inviting him to a breakfast seminar on events-driven tourism for $39 a ticket. "Isn't it rich that a company which could not make money during one of Auckland's biggest events and does not pay its creditors, is running a seminar about how to make money in an industry at which it failed?" the creditor asked.

Gael Deighton, the chief executive of Enterprising Manukau, said it was unfortunate if people had made a linkage between the failed company and the seminar as it was not the intention. The guest speaker at the seminar was Tourism Auckland chief executive Graeme Osborne.

Ms Deighton said creditors were not owed "much money" and would all get paid.

When companies are placed in liquidation they are barred from continuing to trade but liquidator Curtis Mountford said he "could not shed any light" on why the companies were continuing with their business.

"They only went into liquidation the night before. Perhaps various personnel weren't fully briefed," Mr Mountford said. He was in the process of contacting creditors and would be working through their claims.

It is not known how much Manukau Events owes but Kawau Kats has estimated it is owed $169,000 under the contract for Manukau Events to hire its boat and at least one client is owed $10,500 for a cancelled trip.

Manukau Events is wholly owned by the Manukau Enterprise and Employment Trust, which is contracted to provide business promotions for the Manukau City Council.

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