High profile Christchurch property developer Dave Henderson is in financial trouble.

Christchurch crane-hire company Smith Crane and Company have filed papers to have Henderson's companies, Property Ventures and Five Mile Holdings, wound up.

A court hearing for the applications is scheduled for July 21.

The company had an obstacle put in its way when a public notice notifying the court action was pulled from the Christchurch Press. A person purporting to be a representative of Smith Crane and Construction rang the newspaper and order that the notice be pulled.

"They did not act with our knowledge or authority," the company's spokesman said. The identity of the caller remains a mystery.

Smith Crane and Construction have lost patience with Henderson who has failed to pay his bill, despite six months of 'negotiation'. The comapny say it is a high 'six figure' bill.

The company has been working on Henderson's Five Mile village project near Queenstown. There has been little activity on the site for some six weeks and locals refer to it as 'the hole in the ground.'

And it appears that other creditors are set to line up behind Smith Crane and Construction because of unpaid accounts. First up is Morgan and Pollard, a landscape firm, who says its owed money for work done at Five Miles.

Significantly Henderson has referred to 'frustrations that relate to the market and relate to general funding difficulties out there.'

What this means is that the property market has collapsed and, as the credit squeeze gets ever-tighter, Henderson is finding it increasingly difficult to secure any more loans.

Then there is the question of Henderson servicing his present loans.

His company Property Ventures was partly funded by Dominion Finance - that company has now ceased trading. It simply ran out of money and said at the time that it was having difficulty getting loans repaid to it. It appears it'll be at least two years before investors - many of them small 'mum and dad' investors will see any of their money again.

Another major finance company, Hanover Finance - yet unscathed by the finance sector meltdown - has also lent money to Property Ventures. It has refused to supply details of just how much it has tied up with Dave Henderson, although it's rumoured that it is a significant amount.

People who have money invested in Hanover have good reason to be anxious about their investments.


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