Like a B movie, the collapse of Dave Henderson’s property ‘empire’ is coming to its tawdry climax.

As it hinted last week that it would, Hanover Finance has brought in a receiver to take control of Henderson’s Five Mile Village project near Queenstown airport.

Hanover says that Henderson’s Property Ventures defaulted on a $70 million loan some months ago.

Of course, just a short two weeks or so back Henderson told the Christchurch Press that he was ‘amazingly solvent’.

As usual, Henderson has been looking around for someone to blame – which is somewhat ironic given that ‘Hendo’ is big on ‘individual responsibility’.

He says that big American lender, Fortress Credit Corp, is responsible for the receivership push.

According to Henderson, Fortress part-owns NZ Castle with Auckland broker Martyn Reesby and NZ Castle have bought about a third of the loan on Five Mile from Hanover Finance.

Meanwhile its been revealed that Smith Crane and Construction are seeking approximately $750,000 from Property Ventures for work done at Five Miles.

Four other organizations are supporting Smith Crane’s High Court bid to have Property Ventures put into liquidation.

One of those organisations is, yet again, the Inland Revenue, who are seeking some $95,000. It’ll be interesting to see if ‘Hendo’ claims, yet again, that he is being ‘persecuted’ by the taxman.

But some people are still supporting our Dave, including Peter Townsend, chairman of the Canterbury Employers’ Chambers of Commerce.

He claims that Henderson has helped to revitalise the inner city.

This is debatable in itself but it is cold comfort to the people that Henderson owes money to.

Perhaps Townsend should be reminded that one of the finance companies that Henderson lent money from – Dominion Finance – has ceased business. Investors, many of then just small ‘mum and dad’ investors, may have to wait up for up to two years before they see any of they’re hard earned money again.

Dominion Finance says that they simply ran out of cash because of companies defaulting on their loans.

Of course Townsend is just one of a many high profile figures that have supported Henderson’s activities, including ACT MP Rodney Hide and Christchurch Mayor Sideshow Bob Parker.

And let’s not forget a media that was just too eager to believe Henderson’s ‘rags to riches’ story. It was a media that for too long ignored his dodgy politics and his abysmal business track record.

By the time some of the media finally realised that Henderson Street wasn’t paved with gold, the damage had already been done.


  1. Peter Townend's comments were a big surpise! I would have thought he had been around long enough, and was perceptive enough to realise that nothing drives Henderson except greed. It's amazing the people that have been sucked in to sing the praises of a man who does nothing but buy cheap old buildings, give them the cheapest refits possible to achieve the maximum rental returns, and ignores every possible safety standard and Building Act compliance issue that he can, along the way. As far as "Sol Square" is concerned, he has simply created a concentration of bars that attract the sort of people who are attracted to loud drunken crowds late at night. No wonder the Chch Police already refer to his "development" as one of the city's troublespots! There are only two things that Dave Henderson does well: P.R. and hubris. As somebody commented earlier "with Dave, it is always somebody elses fault".

  2. Im no fan of Mr G. However, as one who has witnessed the decline of the central city as suburban developments increase, one is saddened when any central city developer collapses. One cant blame Dave for the behavior of trouble makers. This is a city wide problem. What does nefarious consider to be a solution. Close all precincts where bad behaviour occurs. One suggests their would be no nightlife whatsoever if that was the case. None of those leasing Hendersons space are forced to do so, and maximising rental returns is not a phenomenon specific to Henderson. One has not been aware of complaints related to safety standards and Building Act compliance. "Sol Square" contains a wide array of shopping outlets, not only bars. Nefarious also fails to mention Hendersons other central city developments. Regardless of his political views Dave should be given credit for his role in revitalising the central city.

  3. One cant blame Dave for the behavior of trouble makers. This is a city wide problem.

    Answer: You can blame him, when he operates bars that sell beer in 750ml "brown bottles", and considers that to be 'trendy'.

    What does nefarious consider to be a solution.

    Answer: maintain standards and don't just go for bulk patronage at the expense of quality. The man has not the slightest idea how to run bars and entertainment venues. A few weeks ago I walked through Sol Square at 9pm, and was assailed by a random selection of music that included "Jingle Bells" ... It was not Xmas, and nor was it "Mid-winter-xmas". He has no class, whatsoever, in the opeartion of his bars.

    One has not been aware of complaints related to safety standards and Building Act compliance.

    Answer: 92 Lichfield street, which numbers the CCC's own call centre among its tenants, STILL has no Code Compliance Certificate - and it has been 'completed' and occupied for almost 3 years

    "Sol Square" contains a wide array of shopping outlets, not only bars.

    Answer: Most of which make no money at all (with the exception of privately owned 'Cartel' Bar. Care to tell us about how succesful the showpiece anchor tenant "Minx" has been?

    Nefarious also fails to mention Hendersons other central city developments. Regardless of his political views Dave should be given credit for his role in revitalising the central city.

    Answer: Taking money from gullible investors and playing with it, knowing that when it all goes to shit (as it now has) Dave Ultimate has had a lot of fun, and everyone else is left to carry the losses?

  4. I may not have explained my position very well. My comments are more based on a macro rather than micro discussion of the issues. Dave may be New Zealands most incompitant businessman.I deal with the investors' problem later To me it is what Dave has done which i have no doubt will be completed by someone else as we know is the case with Five Mile. Your first response 'BOTTLES" (1) I cant comment on as i dont drink and dont know if other bars sell the same. However if they do then one needs to compete and if Sol bars dont sell the same patrons will go elsewhere and (2)If other bars dont and trouble also occurs elsewhere, such as The Strip, then surely size of bottle is not the problem. Initiatives to stop the violence have been based on stopping patrons reentering bars after a certain time. Surely the problem is more complicated than simply bottle size.
    If the SHOPS ARE NOT MAKING A PROFIT they would not still be trading. Sol is a thriving precinct and Dave wont be letting rents lapse thats for sure. NON COMPLIANCE. Well why dont you ring those responsible and force Dave to comply.Is that the C C C?. Shame on the C C C for enabling, and being a party to bad standards. Youve given one example and if the authorities dont care then they dont consider it a serious problem because government agencies dont like Mr G.
    PLAYING WITH OTHER PEOPLES MONEY. Well i know Daves history, as you obviously do also, and so should Hanover and others investing. Investors should be questioning the lending practices of the finance companies. However Property Ventures website didnt include the negative side of Daves business history when attracting investors which for a man who espouses individual responsibility is at best decieptful. From that point of view i agree with you. However It wouldnt take a great deal of research to find out Dave ULTIMATES history and anyone lending a bankrupt money, thinking he was going to build a city, is an idiot.
    To conclude, i can distinguish between Dave political views, which i despise, and the economic benefits of his contribution. All is not lost as someone will continue Daves adventure and i will thank him for his part, however small one considers it to be, in trying to revitalise the inner city.

  5. quote: "To conclude, i can distinguish between Dave political views, which i despise, and the economic benefits of his contribution. All is not lost as someone will continue Daves adventure and i will thank him for his part, however small one considers it to be, in trying to revitalise the inner city"

    Economic benefits will eventually ensue, yes (once competent operators take over and properly manage one man's dream).

    The point, as we obviously agree, that once again the house of cards has been built on other people's money, and other people's losses, and Henderson, once again, won't give a toss. The man is the most amoral individual that I have ever encountered in business.

    To explain the example i gave about bottles .... have you ever been to a precinct of bars in a CBD where beer is sold in the large 750 ml brown bottles, and patrons swagger around swilling from them? This marketing ploy created a situation that was dangerous, intimidating, and just plain crass, and yet was meant to be a place where "older" and more cosmopolitan punters would feel welcome.

    Definitely, once Dave is exorcised from the ventures that he initiated, they may well be successful. For now, most of the retail and hospitality operations are eeking out a living on a hand-to-mouth basis, and relying heavily on a few hours of intensive binge drinking on a friday and saturday night. "Minx", the flagship, bled money for many months, before being mothballed at the end of last summer. "His Lordships" has changed hands repeatedly. Despite appearances, it is NOT a "successful precinct", yet!

  6. to make a final comment i will deal with the future.One believes the headline its all over is probably correct. Both in the sense of his current situation and tha future.Dave no longer has Dalhoff and org to advise and guide him. It is also likely he will be unable to obtain moiney from any sorce. HOWEVER ONE ALSO KNOWS DAVE PLAY THE SYSTEM VERY WELL. The greatest example of this being his ability to purchase Chancery Lane a few months after being discharged as a bankrupt. However, unlike his previous disaster radio liberty. this time Dave has taken a lot more people along for a ride which has crashed. To conclude there are two aspects one find interesting (1) it will be interesting to see what Mr G does next and can he REINCARNATE himself and (2)what will happen to his property developments. Particularly the construction iacross from the Tuam street c c c car park. Currently work seems to be halted. ONE suspects the previous two blogers are motivated ostencibly by there hatred for Daves politics and this stops them giving him credit for what he has accomplished. IF one defines SUCCESS as PROGRESS then Daves developments have contributed to the revitalisation of the central city. Or perhaps the difference is i care for the central city more than the previous two bloggers. One thinks it more likely the real difference is i see a half full glass rather than a half empty one. Similar to a empty hole in the ground near Queenstown. Some critices while i look on the bright side and point out that someone else will fill Daves empty hole. well i look forward to a response but this is my last blog as i have nothing more to say on this issue except that i look forward to a trip to the high court on monday to watch the suckers squirm as they try and get their money back.Its just a shame they werent as informed as myself and the previous two blogers. Because if they were they wouldnt have been dumb enough to lend a
    former bankrupt money to build a city. Now aint that pie in the sky or perhaps its nothing more than Daves ego out of control. Goodbye Ray C.

  7. I've been tracking Henderson partly because I don't like his rabidly right wing politics but mostly because I was appalled that he was able to convince so many people that the 'new' Dave was somehow different from the old one.
    As I wrote, 'Hendo' was gettng the kind of gushy media coverage that PR firms normally have to pay for. I guess it reached its peak when his movie was released - John Campbell's truly bootlicking interview with Hendo on the night the movie premiered was truly awful.
    And he had the support of the likes of Mayor Bob Parker, Chamber of Commerce Pete Townsend. What's the bet Parker will give him a wide berth now?
    The point is a lot of people are going to lose a lot of money thanks to Henderson's adventures.
    'Hendo' will walk away from the rubble of Property Ventures and Five Miles - blaming everyone else as usual - leaving other people to deal with the mess.

  8. nefarious refered to Henderson as Dave ultimate and S Cowan doesnt like his politics. One assumes you are refering to his time as a zenith applied philosopher. One used to see him in the square doing all sorts of silly things. Others also participated. Can someone enlighten me further about why they did this and exactly what was zenith applied philosophy. Thanx ray c

  9. To apply a larger macro explaination. Henderson access to funds from many different sources relates to the ease with which lenders have thrown money left right and centre without (1) adequate regulations related to the love of the free market as regulator and a minimal role of government and this goes back to the Roger Douglas era. My belief is what we will see is a larger role for government regulation. A good example is the regulaion of the finance industry and particularly finance managers. The sub prime mortgages in the States is another example in which lenders werent even checking incomes before offering mortgages.Similar to lenders not checking Daves background. We are seeing a slight fundamental shift from free market capital though the change will be gradual and will take a very time and they will never admit it. The renationalisation of railways is a great recent example. We can all name quite a few of Roger Douglas"s failures. The sad part is, as the two previous bloggers point out, that it is mr average that pays by losing there properties(sub prime mortgages) or money when finance companies fail. The love of unfetered free markets is over and one hopes that Dave Henderson is a casualty as well and that, in thr future, he doesnt get access to other peoples money from any source. The only positive aspect of recent changes has been the rise of China as the real economic superpower because people dont make the distinction between political process and economic activity. They are two distinct entities and democracy is politics, not economics. Eventual there will be another shift to counteract the rise of China as an economic power. That is when they recognise the reality that free markets and free trade is causing their decline and that they are being beaten at their own game by the communist chinese or in the case of finance companies and other businesses by Dave. Now i doubt Mr G agrees with any of the above but his libertarian ethos is all theory and no practice and as the two pRevious bloggers point Daves attitude is IM ALRIGHT JACK. Well ive got news and for Dave "its all over", HOPEFULLY. However if he can avoid reporters, by running away as he did on sunday"s television news ,he might make the relay team for the Beijing olympics.

  10. Ray, you came back! ;)

    The mystery to those who have had their eye on Henderson for the last 6 or 7 years was always this: "Where the hell is the money coming from?".

    I'm sure I was not alone in thinking that it could not possibly have all been coming from convntional sources within NZ, because surely nobody here in the finance sector would be that stupid as to lend to the guy?

    Now it's all out there in the open. They WERE "that stupid".

    Somebody also mentioned the current mayor of Chch as one who had embraced Henderson. In fact, the one who should really be srutinised was his predecessor, Gary Moore. The relationship between the 2 of them bordered on sleeping together, and it is well known within the Council that many directives came down from on high to turn a blind eye to enforcement of regulations when dealing with Henderson's runaway projects.

    Was it just coincidence that Moore's own son was a tenant of Henderson's and also worked for Property Ventures?

    Incidentally, the front page of today's "Press" deals with the freezing of funds by the local "Canterbury Mortgage Trust". The paper also details the un-related placing in receivership of Henderson's "Living Space" ventures in Invercargill and Dunedin.

    What the paper does NOT point out is that "Canterbury Mortgage Trust" has significant lendings secured over the remaining "Living Space" in Christchurch, and also personal guarantees from Henderson. I would once have rated that particular lender as a very cautious player, but, no ..... just like everybody else, greed got the better of them.

    A P.G. from Dave Henderson! Now, that's an oxymoron, if ever there was one.

    I wonder how much more of this web will be exposed in the weeks and months to come?

  11. This is all very interesting. I have a silly question - are Peter Townsend and Dave Henderson part of the band who used to play at the Plainsman back in the 60's? Another member was a guy called Pete Gillette. Just curious ..

  12. no they are not members of a band. yes i did come back but with the despicable bail out by the ccc and henderson turning into k marx on steroids is too much for me and when i see him and he says something when i ignore him i will abuse him and their could be trouble. At this point i feel it is a waste of time discussing such a parasite and i applaud you and s cowan for pointing out the real truth even though in a previous blog i did call him a theoretical libertarian and recent events have shown this to be true. Recent events have shown you are right and the real mayor is Henderson and they are his puppets. I hope henderson ends up bankrupt again and his failure to pay creditors and particularly the peolpe he bought his queenstown home from is disgraceful but as you say only idiots loan a bankrupt money. Im am not prepared to have him rationalize this and tell me he is still a libertarian and that is why i will not talk to him. Desperate men and desperate measures and i suspect his fellow ZAP students are disgusted with his bludging off ratepayers. What has happened over the past couple of weeks has been surreal for me and what happens in the future will be interesting and i hope the current council get the boot. Henderson has become what he spoke against in the square. He has become the biggest bludger this country has and has not learnt a thing from his ZAP studies. That part of his life was a waste of time. The only analogy i can make is that he has no principles and that those with principles were the males who stopped other males boarding the liferafts of the titanic and their wives who stayed with them. Unfortunately i have been a bit slow wheras you and cowan knew all along he would have been the first to jump in a lifeboat and is truly a dispicable cretin.


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