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Wings and Wheels over Waikato

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Update October 2009

To ensure that eligible ticketholders receive their refunds as soon as possible, the liquidators has applied to the High Court to set a time limit by when applications must be received and by when the liquidators can start the distribution of funds to eligible ticketholders. The refund will come from the funds deemed by the court to have been held on trust for the ticketholders of the postponed airshow Wings and Wheels over Waikato.

The liquidators' application is to be heard by the High Court on Friday 16 October.

The liquidators are asking the Court to approve that only ticketholders who have submitted their application for a refund to the liquidators by 5pm on Monday 19 October 2009 will be eligible for a refund.

Applications for refunds can be sent to:
Mr Nellies Insolvency Management Limited  
P O Box 1058
Dunedin 9054

If you have already submitted an application to either the Commerce Commission or the liquidator, you do not need to resubmit an application.

Any claims for refunds received and surplus funds held by the liquidators after 19 October 2009 will be subject to the liquidation provisions and be distributed accordingly. That means any claims received after that date will receive a greatly lesser payout.

August 2009

Following the court ruling on the process, all applications and correspondence regarding refunds for Wings and Wheels over Waikato ticketholders should be now submitted to the liquidator:

Mr Nellies Insolvency Management Limited

P O Box 1058

Dunedin 9054

If you have already submitted an application to the Commission before August 2009, you do not need to resubmit your application as all relevant information held by the Commission has been forwarded to Mr Nellies.

22 July 2009: Court confirms Wings and Wheels funds held on trust

A judge in the Auckland High Court confirmed yesterday that the money paid for tickets to the postponed airshow Wings and Wheels over Waikato was being held on trust by the airshow's organisers and that the money should be used to pay refunds to entitled ticket holders. This clears the way to begin a process to refund eligible ticket holders.

Justice Lang has ordered that the funds, around $500,000, should be transferred to Insolvency Management Ltd, the liquidators for airshow.co.nz Limited. The Court will then consider which ticketholders have a legal entitlement to a refund. The liquidators will be responsible for administering the refund process.

In March 2008 the Commission obtained a court order freezing the assets of Hawker Holdings, Airshow.co.nz - Media Limited, airshow.co.nz Limited and Kenneth James Ross, so that ticket money would be available for refunds.

When further details are available, the Commission will communicate with ticket holders via this web page.

Around 2,300 applications for refunds are already registered with the Commission and this information will be passed on to the liquidators to assist them in the process of identifying the ticket holders. Ticket holders who have already sent an application form and who have received an acknowledgement letter or email from the Commission do not need to resubmit their application for refund.

Further details will be available shortly via on this web page for the approximately 1,200 ticket holders who have not yet filed an application form.

Background

In March 2008 the Commission obtained a court order freezing the assets of Hawker Holdings, Airshow.co.nz - Media Limited, airshow.co.nz Limited and Kenneth James Ross, so that ticket money would be available for refunds. In an agreement reached between the airshow organisers and the Commission in June 2008, ticketholders' funds were paid into the trust account of the organisers' solicitors and the organisers undertook to administer the process of refunding ticket holders. The company then went into liquidation and in October 2008, the Commerce Commission took over the process of registering eligible ticketholders while clarity of the status of the funds was sought from the courts.

Prosecution of Kenneth Ross. The New Zealand Police and the Commerce Commission have laid charges against Mr Ross in relation to the promotion of the postponed air show Wings and Wheels over Waikato. As this is before the courts, there will be no further comment on this issue.


 


June 2009

A hearing into the issue of the status of the ticketholders' funds is due to start in the Auckland High Court the week starting 20 July 2009. The issue to be resolved by the High Court is  whether the money secured by the Commission under the mareva injunction in March 2008 (and now in the trust account of solicitors Morrison and Kent) was held in trust by the Airshow company and its organisers, or is to be treated general funds available to all creditors.

Accordingly no refunds can be made until this issue has been decided by the Court.

Some ticketholders may have recently received an email from the Airshow organisers. Information contained in this email is incorrect. The validity of the Trust Account has not yet been decided. If you have already sent your application form to the Commission and  you have received an acknowledgement letter or email from the Commission, you do not need to resubmit your application for refund. If you have not yet submitted an application form, please download the form at the bottom of this web page.


 

March 2009

On 25 March  2009 a telephone conference, focused on the civil proceedings over the refunds for tickets for the postponed airshow Wings and Wheels over Waikato and liquidation of airshow.co.nz Limited, was held in the High Court in Auckland. The Commerce Commission (through the Crown Solicitors Meredith Connell) took part in the conference representing the interests of consumers who bought tickets to the airshow.

The Commission claims that the ticket holders' money was held on trust by the airshow promoters, and as such, the ticket holders are entitled to have those funds returned.  This claim will be the subject of a hearing at the High Court in Auckland. A date for that hearing is yet to be set, although the Commission expects this to be addressed on 5 May 2009 when the High Court will make timetabling orders for this matter.

The Commission has already received approximately 2,500 applications for refunds. However the Commission believes that there is still around 1,200 ticketholders who have not yet filed an application form with the Commission. Only those registered with the Commission will be eligible for a refund, if the Courts decide that the funds held can be used for this purpose.

If any ticket holder has not yet submitted a refund application to the Commission, they are urged to do so promptly.   The form for a refund application can be found on the Commission's website, www.comcom.govt.nz under the heading Fair Trading and then entering the dropdown box to 'Wings and Wheels over Waikato'.

If you have already received an acknowledgement from the Commission, then you are on the Commission's database of applicants and will be contacted once the Court has made its decision about the status of the funds.


 

January 2009

The Commission has received a significant number of applications from people seeking refunds for tickets for the postponed airshow Wings and Wheels over Waikato. However the Commission is aware that there are about 2,000 purchasers of tickets for the postponed airshow who have still not registered their claim with the Commission. The Commission encourages all purchasers of tickets who have not been reimbursed by their credit card company or the ticketing agency Paypal and who have NOT received either a confirmation letter or email from the Commission to make contact with the Commission. This can be done by completing the application form available from the Commission website.

At a hearing on 18 December 2008 in the High Court at Auckland the Court ordered the matter be joined with the liquidation proceedings to be heard early in 2009 at the Hamilton High Court. The Commission will continue to represent ticket holders in the proceedings and hopefully a hearing will take place in approximately March 2009.


 

December 2008

The Commerce Commission is currently in discussions with the liquidator regarding the status of ticket holder's funds. The Commission expects the liquidator to have confirmed its position before this matter goes back to the High Court in Auckland on 18 December.

In the meantime, the Commission is continuing to accept and process refund applications so that it can respond as promptly as possible when a decision has been made about the status of the trust funds.

As of 8 December all applicants should have received an acknowledgement letter/email. If an application form has been sent to the Commission prior to 8 December and acknowledgment has not been received please send an email to airshowrefunds@comcom.govt.nz


 

November 2008

The Commission has received approximately 1000 applications for refunds and has begun the process of acknowledging receipt of these applications. Due to the volume of applications received, there may be a short delay in applicants receiving an acknowledgement letter.

There has been no further clarity surrounding the status of the funds currently held in a trust account of the Wings and Wheels organiser's solicitors. However the Commission will continue accept applications for refunds.


 

October 2008

On 24 October 2008 the Commerce Commission announced an update to the process for people seeking refunds for tickets for the postponed airshow Wings and Wheels over Waikato. Click here for the media release.

Ticket holders can now access the refund form at the bottom of this page. They are advised to disregard the refund form posted on airshow.co.nz. Any ticket holders who have already sent refund forms to either the airshow or to the Minister's office can be assured that their documentation will be collected and held by the Commission. Ticket holders should also ensure that they keep copies of any documentation of materials that they send to the Commission.

The following information is required: name of purchaser, address, email address, contact phone numbers, number of tickets, type of ticket, method of payment, date of purchase and total amount paid. Please forward this information together with your e-SMART CARD tickets to:

Wings and Wheels Refund
c/- Commerce Commission
44 The Terrace
PO Box 2351
Wellington 6140

Please keep copies of all documentation sent.

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