NZ Businessman To Take $17 Billion Waterfront Property Case Back to Court – NZ Law & Business

<a href= LawFuel – The Law Jobs and Legal NewsWire – It may be unusual, but businessman Christopher Wingate has never been one to do things by halves. The “unusual” is something that comes easy to him and it made him a millionaire by age 25.

Mr Wingate is now advertising for “lawyers with stamina” to take a case worth $3.5 billion profits back to court. And $3.5b is a conservative number Mr Wingate refers people to look at <href= MatakanaDevelopment.Blogspot

In this proposal Mr Wingate is offering lawyers a huge share in Matakana’s waterfront property should they take this case on and win the land back. Wingate’s company, Arklow Investments proposed a $17 billion development of Matakana Island. He commissioned international reports between 1991 and 1998 that would see an international airport, 20,000 houses, six world-class golf courses, holiday parks, a university, marine science centre and other major features built on Matakana Island. The project is New Zealand’s greatest, Wingate said.

A successful self made businessman at the young age of 25, Wingate’s career saw him living between Hawaii, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. He’s been in business for 30 years and says he has spent $5.5 million on lawyers, litigating the Matakana Island “theft.”

In Arklow vs. MacLean and Others [1999] UKPC 51, the Privy Council London dismissed an appeal from the Court of Appeal of New Zealand which found Wellington merchant bank FAR Financial owed no fiduciary duty to Arklow Investments. But Mr Wingate says they were wrong and he can prove it.

“I went to a Wellington merchant bank Far Financial to borrow $4-5m. They asked us to bring the business to them so we gave the 3 FAR directors the blue print of our deal which was how to get 10,000 acres for free. We negotiated for Kanematsu Japan to buy the 17-34 year forest cutting rights for $15.75m. The price I had negotiated to buy Matakana land and forests was $20m, hence going to Wellington Merchant Bank Far Financial to borrow the shortfall. Our plan was to repay the $5m, by selling off the 1-16 year forest. So by doing that we would end up with the land for free. After showing FAR Financial our deal, instead of offering us the money we needed, FAR asked us for $5000 to go find the money. The court evidence showed that within days, FAR called USA forest company ITT Rayonier and offered them the 17-34 year forest for $15.6m.

“In the end, FAR Financial ended up with the ownership control of the 10,000 acres, for free plus a few million. Arklow then took FAR to court claiming breach of fiduciary duty, misuse of confidential information and breach of confidentiality. But before the matter got to trial, FAR did a deal to sell the 10,000 acres of Matakana land to a group of Maori who claimed the land was sacred. What surprised me was how the courts bent over backwards to accommodate their every whim.

“My caveats were lifted the deal went through and the Maoris’ then immediately sold half the sacred land to USA company Port Blakely keeping 5000 acres plus $5m which they then used to fight Arklow in its case against FAR. It was and is a scandal that must be corrected. If not then litigation is a waste of time and the courts should close in all civil trials because they have shown in Arklow they have no interest in accuracy. We won the four week trial and retrial and then got totally screwed by the Appeal Courts who changed the facts so as to give the land to Maori, who claimed it was sacred. Yet two years later announced plans to build canal housing right over the graves they had previously pointed out when seeking the courts sympathy.

“But so much for sacred, last year the Maori group sold the remaining 5000 acres to property developers for $75 million and the tribe got nothing everything went to the Maori leaders and their chartered accountant.”

Mr Wingate’s dissatisfaction with the judicial and political systems has led him to make a film called Government which is along the lines of Michael Moore’s documentaries on corruption and “idiots in power.”

“The public are witnessing the growing trends of politicians and the judiciary bowing to the demands of big business and other hidden agenda. Networking power appears to be shifting influence and authority into the hands of some legal and business corporations often in a corrupt way,” Wingate says.

When asked to prove the Court of Appeal and Privy Council were wrong, he said,
“If Arklow entrusts FAR with any ability to control the financial well being of Arklow, FAR Financial has become bound in a relationship of trust. And so the rules are;

1- That FAR will not in any way commit any act which may conflict with the interests of Arklow who is seeking a $3.43 billion dollar profit out of the plans it has trusted FAR to receive; or

2- That FAR will use the new position of control, if it is used, only to serve the interests of Arklow.

These are the rules to stop those with any entrusted conferred control over the financial well-being of those like Arklow, who are expecting their care will proceed without falling victim caused by a conflict of interest.

If you agree that is the correct position of equitable law, then you would know the Court of Appeal and Privy Council were incorrect in their decision. That has always been the position of the law, it’s just that no one has ever written this in a single rule like I have.”

Mr Wingate said, “The Court’s changed many key facts, an example”

In the High Court 1994 Justice Greig page 17 said,
“At no relevant time would Arklow-Wingate have been able to purchase and complete the transaction”

Then in the High Court 1997 Justice Temm page 5 said –

“By February Kanematsu were prepared to pay $15.75m”

But then Court of Appeal Justice Gault 1998 page 35 said–

“At no time was Kanematsu prepared to pay $15.75m for the 17-34 year forest”
Then in the Privy Council 1999, Justice Henry page 1 said –

“The relevant facts are fully set out in the majority judgment of Richardson P., Gault and Keith JJ. delivered by Gault J., and need not be repeated in detail “

Mr Wingate said it’s a scandal what the judges said when we look at the evidence. For example the general manager of Kanematsu Steve Wilson in the High Court trial said and produced the actual board approved deal agreeing to pay $15.75m. The other evidence was from the CEO of Peter Spencer’s investment group, which said they were ready to provide Arklow with whatever they needed to complete the deal. So when asked why didn’t Arklow do the deal with Spencer? “Because FAR beat us to it the deal”

So how did the Maoris end up in the deal Wingate suggests people read <a href= Matakanaleadership Blogspot

When asked how can the owners of the land be liable? Mr Wingate said, “All parties have dealt in these assets knowing of Arklow’s claim.”

This will be interesting.

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