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PM heckled over Hubbard affair

Thursday 31st March 2011 10 Comments

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Prime Minister John Key was called a liar when he fronted a meeting in Timaru last night packed with vocal Allan Hubbard supporters.

The Government placed Hubbard, his wife, Jean, and related companies into statutory management last year.

Hubbard headed the Timaru-based South Canterbury Finance which the Government spent $1.7 billion bailing-out when it failed.

"When I see an old man get rolled and robbed and accused of fraud when in fact he's one of the most honourable men in the country I am concerned," Radio New Zealand reported one man saying at the 500-strong meeting.

Key said South Canterbury Finance had been going to collapse for a long time.

"The entire time I've been Prime Minister I've had Treasury in my office week after week, month after month telling me South Canterbury Finance was going bankrupt."

He said when the Serious Fraud Office got involved he had to be dispassionate.

Someone in the audience yelled the Prime Minister was lying.

"I like Allan Hubbard. I do not get up in the morning trying to find people to go after," Key said.

Some at the meeting said Hubbard supporters were crazy and were not facing the facts.

A woman told Radio New Zealand; "John Key's a w..ker".

Key said he accepted people had different views.



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Comments from our readers

On 31 March 2011 at 10:52 am elizabeth said:
I have followed this saga to the best of my ability. I had never heard of Hubbard prior to the publicity last year. Whilst I do not understand everything about high finance I have come to the conclusion that Hubaard will be remembered like Guy Fawkes..
On 31 March 2011 at 5:38 pm Elizabeth said:
Who requested that South Canterbury finance be placed in receivership??? Was it John Key or Bill English??? Nooo!! I think it might have been the trustees and directors of SCF.
On 1 April 2011 at 8:51 am Barrington said:
It's amazing that some people simply can't see that SCF failed because of the actions taken (or not taken) by Hubbard, his board and advisers. Whatever Hubbard's intentions may have been, he did not run the business properly. We should be very thankful the government bailed out the debenture holders, otherwise it really would have been a disaster.
On 1 April 2011 at 8:59 am Arthur said:
It is sad that the level of financial literacy is so low around Timaru. Hubbard managed to suck nice simple folk in.
On 1 April 2011 at 9:21 am Christopher said:
Calling someone a liar is hardly a winning tactic but perhaps the person doing the name calling had a useful relationship with Mr Hubbard.Not going to get much sympathy from taxpayers who have bailed out SCF.
On 1 April 2011 at 2:19 pm J.C.Patterson said:
Timaru should wake up-Hubbard sucked us all in and Key bailed us out-go JK.
On 2 April 2011 at 1:11 am Graeme said:
The whole SCF chaotic chapter of goings on, stat management, unravelling with a bulk Govt bankrolling the job could have been dealt with considerably better, preferably alot earlier on with more attention to the sector. What were the Govt Ministers doing at the time meltdown was looming for many of the companies ? Did they look at what was likely ? what was causing it ? How to sure it up ? or perhaps no bells rang at all ? Start asking questions on the Administration that supposedly carried the 'Ignore it, it isn't happening' type of competency, and resulting volatility through extending forward to deconstruction of a fair portion of the sector & players as things hit the volatility bumps. The follow on melt downs, Govt guarantees introduced when it got a point of credibility of players to borrow + continue. All to convenient to ignore, but who is going to finance sectors these players used to in the future ? Australian banks or no-one ? Yet another in the long saga of losses to investors, loss of businesses in the sector, poorly regulated until too long after melt down hit as the volatility bumps took their toll out on players & investors.. A very sad conclusion & ode to yet another chapter of a certain administration who always manage to lose control of things sometime during their term(s), it seems ;-)
On 4 April 2011 at 2:45 pm John Cran said:
Go take a look at the Biography written by Virgina Green on Alan Hubbard "A Man out of Time" You will all be better informed.
On 5 April 2011 at 10:29 pm Andrew said:
I did read the book on Allan Hubbard. It only made me realise all the more why the guy should NEVER have been running a finance company. He was always going to eventually double down and LOSE! He had a self belief in his own abilities and judgement that made him a danger to himself - and his investors. And the taxpayer has been left to clean up the mess. His Timaru band of supporters seem blind to the fact that he is now a failed businessman. Competent people don't fail!
On 8 April 2011 at 4:20 pm BW said:
A lot of uninformed opinion here, one person who does have a lot of information on this is Chris Lee. Can I suggest you all read his newsletter next Thursday where I expect he will inform us all a lot more of exactly what the heck is going on.
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