Concerns from Taranaki forest investors

Friday 15 Mar 2019

In last week’s issue, we highlighted the unfortunate closure of the Waverley Sawmill, which had traded since at least 1932. Another story this week from the National Business Review (NBR) dated 7 March linked to the mill closure raises concerns by investors in several forestry syndicates managed by another Whanganui company, Arbor Management.

The investors found themselves owning a stake in the mill via related party transactions organised by Arbor. The NBR article says that the investments date back to the 1980s and 1990s when Arbor began selling units in eight forestry syndicates. In total, the schemes raised more than NZ$13 million from investors. More than 20 years later, investors are yet to receive a cent and a failure to file accounts, in some cases since 2016, is ringing alarm bells.



Some unitholders have complained to the Financial Markets Authority. The Companies Office lists the directors of Arbor as Richard Mandeno and Peter Martin. When asked if the lack of financial statements has left investors in the lurch, Arbor told NBR that “They haven’t had the information, yes.” Arbor blames not filing records on flawed mixed-age forest valuation methodology and a continuing sales process for the syndicated forestry assets.

Source: NBR

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