No money for Pike River contractors
Wed, 18 Jul 2012 6:35p.m.
By Kloe Palmer
Contractors still waiting to be paid for work they did at the Pike River Mine before it exploded have been told they won't get any more money.
What's left of the mine has been sold to Solid Energy for $7.5 million, but that won't be enough to pay contractors the $30 million they say they're owed.
Peter Haddock’s engineering firm's one of the 220 unsecured creditors that are still owed money from Pike River Coal.
He's owed $30,000, and on hearing that the mine had sold for just $7.5 million he knew there would be no more money for the contractors.
“It was a low sale price so I doubt whether there will be any more money coming from the receiver.”
John Fisk, the receiver, agrees.
“Yes they won't receive anything more from the receivership.”
Nearly all of the sale money will go to secured creditor New Zealand Oil and Gas. And that means a $30 million hit for the former employees, contractors, suppliers and, indirectly, the West Coast.
“There's a lot of discretionary spending that's not there anymore,” Mr Haddock says. “Tourism's down and the local economy's in a bad state at the moment.”
Like all the contractors, George Colligan received an early payout, but is still owed around $45,000.
To avoid ruin, he had to leave his family on the West Coast and work in Papua New Guinea.
“I just got to try and catch up a wee bit so I don't lose my property or anything like that,” Mr Colligan says. “I have just got to get some money in the bank again, ideally I will come home sooner rather than later hopefully.”
Most of the creditors owed money were Greymouth locals and like Mr Colligan many have had to shut down or move away.
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