5 Sep 2011

Crown officials discuss Allan Hubbard's death

2:07 pm on 5 September 2011

The Commerce Minister met with Crown lawyers on Sunday to discuss the next steps in the statutory management of Allan Hubbard.

The meeting at the Beehive was prompted by the death of the 83-year-old businessman, after the car his wife was driving collided with another vehicle about 5km north of Oamaru on Friday afternoon.

He suffered multiple injuries and was taken to Oamaru Hospital, then airlifted to Dunedin Hospital, where his death was confirmed at 7pm on Friday. Mrs Hubbard sustained broken ribs and is in Dunedin Hospital.

Mr Hubbard and his wife were placed under statutory management in June last year, along with seven charitable trusts, Aorangi Securities, and later, Hubbard Management Funds.

A spokesperson for the Minister says statutory managers will now work closely with the Hubbard family to find a constructive way through the legal process.

Commerce Minister Simon Power will brief cabinet on Monday on the implications of Mr Hubbard's death.

A representative of statutory management firm Grant Thornton met the Hubbard family in Dunedin on Sunday and has ensured that all funeral costs will be covered.

A Grant Thornton spokesperson says it's too early to speculate on the future of the statutory management, although it continues as normal for now.

A lawyer who represented Mr Hubbard, Mike Heron, says the 50 charges against him will now be formally stayed by the court.

He says this means Mr Hubbard will be presumed innocent of the charges of fraud involving millions of dollars from two of his companies.

Business commentator Brian Gaynor says most of the charges were against Mr Hubbard and even if the investigation continues it is likely to be carried out at a lower scale.

Mr Gaynor says there was some indication that investigation was also looking at other people, though it is likely that a lot of the focus of the inquiry will disappear.

A supporter of Mr Hubbard, Paul Carruthers, told Morning Report he remains convinced of Mr Hubbard's innocence, and that his contributions far outweighed any wrongdoing he was accused of.

Another supporter, Jan Macpherson, says hundreds of messages of condolence and support for Mr Hubbard's family have been posted on a Facebook page set up by his supporters, with many saying they regret he did not get the chance to clear his name.