25 Apr 2010

Council waiting for rates arrears from Serepisos

7:05 am on 25 April 2010

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast says the city council has been working for months to secure overdue commercial rates and ground lease payments from companies owned by prominent businessman, Terry Serepisos.

The Wellington-based property developer is the owner of the Wellington Phoenix football team and frontman on TV's The Apprentice.

Wellington City Council will not confirm a report by The Dominion Post that companies owned by Mr Serepisos owe about $2 million.

Ms Prendergast says there may be some people who feel Mr Serepisos has been given an unusual amount of time to repay the debts.

She says the council did not want Mr Serepisos's financial difficulties to damage the Phoenix football franchise but the situation can not go on forever.

Ms Prendergast says the overdue money will be paid back in full because the council is a secured creditor.

Mr Serepisos did not return calls made by Radio New Zealand.

However, Councillor Rob Goulden said on Saturday that councillors were told last year the matter had been cleared up.