Christchurch Mayor Sideshow Bob Parker is a fan of the shambolic Dave Henderson.

Like Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief Pete Towsend, Sideshow thinks Henderson has helped to 'revitalise' central Christchurch.

Failed property developer Henderson is also a fan of Parker – and publicly endorsed his mayoral bid.

Despite the fact that Henderson’s companies have defaulted on loans to such troubled finance companies as Dominion Finance and Hanover, it looks like Sideshow Bob and his merry band of councillors are considering doing ‘Hendo’ a favour.

Which is more than ‘Hendo’ is doing for all those small investors who are unlikely to get all, if any, of their money back from Dominion and Hanover.

The Press has reported that the Christchurch City Council is considering buying one of Henderson’s Chancery Lane properties - Henderson has six titles.

Last Friday the council held an extraordinary meeting – with the public (who pay the bills) excluded yet again.

The item on the agenda was the possible purchase of Chancery Lane.

Henderson, whose company Property Ventures is facing liquidation, is trying to sell a number of properties but it appears, in a collapsed property market, he is not having a lot of luck.

So is the Christchurch City Council going to help out Henderson?

The council, having been rumbled about the secret meeting, are now refusing to comment. Sideshow Bob has used the old excuse of ‘commercial sensitivity’ – which was the same lame excuse he used when refusing to divulge how much the Christchurch City Council paid for the Ellerslie Garden Show.

Why is this proposed property deal ‘commercially sensitive’? Who or what is it ‘sensitive’ to? Sideshow Bob? Henderson? The election chances of certain councillors? Certain meetings held away from council premises?

No, this has all the appearance of a dodgy deal being hatched between Hendo and his supporters within council.

Henderson claims he has not been contacted by the council in connection with the Chancery Lane property.

Nor can he explain why the Chancery Lane priperties would be the topic of a special and secret meeting of the city council.

Apparently it just happened – just like that.

Of course Henderson is the man who told the media just a short five weeks ago that he was ‘amazingly solvent’.

I rang a contact in the Christchurch City Council and I now understand that it was, in fact, Mayor Sideshow Bob Parker who called for the extraordinary meeting.

We’ll be following this little property affair very closely – because it’s got the smell of something unpleasant about it.

If anyone has got any information on this proposed property deal please email me at


  1. DEJA VU!

    Six or seven years ago the Chch Council were considering taking a role in the redevelopment of the old Turners and Growers site in Tuam Street, for mixed residential use.

    Henderson already had his own avaricious eyes on taking a similar role, both with long-term and short-term residential in the same part of town.

    He had recently (at a rock-bottom price of course) bought the old Sargood's building at 92 Lichfield Street, and saw the ownership of this property, which was part of a "character group of buildings" as a suitable lever with which to coerce Council into removing themeselves from involvement in a residential development which would compete with his own ambitions.

    What came next? Minutes posted on the Council's own website confirm that Henderson applied for a demolition permit for the Sargoods Building, UNLESS Council promised him that they would not become involved with the Turners and Growers site. Moore was at the helm, and already doing deals with Henderson behind the scenes.

    Surprise, surprise! Henderson decided not to demolish Sargoods buidling, and to redevelop it instead, and who was to be the first floor tenant paying a grossly above-market rate for the lease? Yup, The Council, whose own call centre moved in, and is still there now, paying the same huge rental.

    The Turners and Growers site? Still an empty lot. Go figure!

    Isn't it about time the activities of Chch's mayors, both present and immediate past, were subjected to an inquiry?

    Once again, ratepayer's money is about to be diverted (behind closed doors) to prop up the financial incompetence of the mayor's mates and campaign supporters!

    Is this NZ or Southern Italy?

    Footnote - The Sargoods building is also seeking a buyer, but more discreetly than the other parts of Dave Ultimate's empire. I guess he doesn't want to be seen publicly to be selling a building which forms a part of "SOL Square", because that really would be the ultimate blow to the man's ego

  2. read all about the last similar bail-out, here:

    The property at 92 Lichfield Street is presently owned by D J Dickey (1/6 share), B A Hampton
    (1/6 share), J Manning (1/6 share) and A A Brown and D J Boyle (1/2 share).
    Officers understand that RFD Investments Limited, for which it appears Mr Henderson is acting, has
    agreed to buy 92 Lichfield Street under an unconditional sale and purchase agreement.
    According to the diary records, on 8 May 2002, Ms J May, Director of ‘Our City’ advised that Mr
    Henderson had made it known that he was considering the demolition of 92 Lichfield Street. Mr
    Henderson phoned on 14 May 2002 and stated that there was no threat of demolition of 92 Lichfield
    Street. RFD Investments (for which Mr Henderson appears to act as agent) had in fact lodged a
    Resource Consent for demolition of the building with the Environmental Services Unit on 13 May
    2002. Advice was received of an application for demolition from ESU on 24 May 2002. This
    application had been placed on hold because there was no assessment of environmental effects
    included as required by the Resource Management Act. Mr Henderson had been advised of this
    requirement regarding the consent application by Ms Melinda Smith, Senior Planner, Environmental
    Services Unit.
    Council officers understand that the resource consent application for the demolition of 92 Lichfield
    Street is being sought because the applicant has previously sought certain assurances from the
    Council that it would not become involved in student accommodation developments within the central
    city. The Council has not given those assurances. One of the potential usages for the nearby
    Turners & Growers site recently acquired by the Council is student accommodation.

  3. ....and finally, the best quote of all, from

    "The Council is supportive and encouraging of the project. Property Ventures Ltd has had a good relationship, in particular, with the former mayor, and with the leader of the Central City Revitalisation team."

    Yes, an incredibly good relationship

  4. FYI - Jenny May and Garry Moore's families were recently joined through the marriage of a son and daughter of each. sounding more Italian by the minute - horses heads soon to been seen in the beds of chch?

  5. I would like to know what one needs to do to reach your standard to be accepted as someone "revitalizing the central city".Mr G is the only developer i can name doing this and your political hatred toward him overrides your common sense and ability to give credit where its due. I dont need to list property developments Dave has been instrument in. You know them all and all the mayor and the chamber of commerce are acknowledging is Daves effort up until now. As i said in a more recent blog Dave is not resposible for the failings of finance companies. His contract was with the finance companies not the investors. The managers are directly responsible to investors for the allocation of their money.I have explained why their is no hypocracy between Daves libertarian beliefs and him not wanting competition from the city council in another blog. Dave can do what he likes so long as he doesnt break any laws and i for one dont blame him using Sargoods building as a lever against the council. What other option did he have, bearing in mind his libertarian beliefs which are consistent with his actions. To me it was David against Goliath.


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