Waiwera group’s troubled waters
A company selling New Zealand water overseas, partly owned by a Russian billionaire, faces an application for liquidation.
An application to put Waiwera Water New Zealand into liquidation was filed in the High Court on May 22 by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue.
The firm, run by Mikhail Khimich and Leon Fingerhut, sells its artesian water in more than 10 countries, including the US, Russia and the Middle East.
The company is part of the Waiwera group, which runs the Waiwera hot pools and bottles mineral water sold under the Waiwera brand. The bottled water is also sold domestically.
According to the company’s website the water, first bottled on the site in 1857 by Scotsman Robert Graham, is drawn from one of the South Pacific’s largest geothermal aquifers, 1.5 kilometres beneath the Waiwera Valley in north Auckland.
News of the application for liquidation will come as a blow to Waiwera township residents and thermal resort workers concerned about the future of the resort, after it cut its hours from seven to three days last week.
The resort claimed the cut in hours made way for work on an upgrade, but refused to comment further.
Waiwera Water has been contacted for comment.
An application to put Waiwera Water New Zealand into liquidation has been made by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue.