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Source: Nielson cmi (Q1 2014 - Q4 2014) Year provincial toplines
A woman who stole almost
$800,000 from a top school and
spent it on a high rolling, horsey
lifestyle can now be named.
Tessa Fiona Grant, 40 — the
former commercial manager
at Waikato Diocesan School
for Girls — pleaded guilty to
seven fraud-related charges in
the Hamilton District Court
Court documents showed she
used fake invoices from a school
building project to reap $795,000
in the nine months to August last
year — using the cash to help buy
an equestrian centre in Horotiu,
as well as a horse and jewellery.
She was on a $125,000
annual salary at the time of the
offending, and occupied the
position that was second only
to the principal and responsible
for the overall finances, property
development and maintenance of
the State-integrated school.
The offending occurred after
Grant was appointed to the
position at the prestigious
school in July 2014, but was not
noticed until after she resigned in
September the following year.
Students pay about $10,000 per
year to attend the decile 10 school
with Anglican character, or about
$20,000 for boarders.
An employment investigation
into her conduct was launched
after the suspected improper
use of a school credit card,
and subsequently a police
investigation revealed the extent
of the transactions.
Grant was charged with two
counts of using a document for
pecuniary advantage, two counts
of altering a document and
three charges of using forged
The charges related to a number
of fake invoices, in which she
obtained cheques from the school
for quotes relating to various
She banked the money into her
In one instance a $7500 cheque
for non-existent asbestos removal
from the school principal’s house
was made out to a friend of
Grant ’s on her behalf.
In a statement, school principal
Vicky McLennan said early
detection of the offending
enabled her and the school board
to act quickly.
She said full reparation had
been received before the end of
“The school is grateful for the
diligence and vigilance of its staff
and boards and thankful that
robust financial systems enabled
early and accurate detection of
“The prompt return of
the money earmarked for
property projects will enable
the resumption of campus
development for the benefit of
current and future students.”
Grant ’s lawyer Michael Foley
said his client was unable to
comment as she was “ locked up”
in a confidentiality agreement
with the school that was signed
after she repaid the money, plus
interest, as well as covered “out-
Name suppression was not
applied for in court yesterday,
when she was remanded on
bail by Judge Robert Spear for
sentencing in March.
Five of the charges carry a
maximum penalty of 10 years’
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
$800,000 school fraud perpetrator named
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Former Waikato Diocesan School for Girls commercial manager Tessa Fiona Grant leaves the
Hamilton District Court with her lawyer.
move in Dick
Dick Smith’s banks made a shrewd
move in pulling the pin on the firm this
week, as the retailer was at its “cash high
point ” for the year after Christmas and
the Boxing Day sales, an Australian fund
A lending syndicate led by HSBC and
National Australia Bank (NAB) put the
embattled electronics seller — which
owes roughly $A150 million ($15.958
million) — into receivership on
Tuesday, appointing Ferrier Hodgson
In an on-line article, Forager Funds
Management chief investment officer
Steve Johnson said there would have
been no better time for banks to make
He said the Boxing Day sales would
have bolstered Dick Smith’s cash
reser ves, while most gift cards sold in the
lead-up to Christmas would not yet have
“It seems counter-intuitive that a
retailer could file for receivership at the
high cash point of the year. But, if you
are the bank and you have the ability
to force the situation, there is no better
time,” Mr Johnson said.
“Stop the clock today and the cash
will end up in the banks’ coffers. Wait
another few weeks and a large chunk of
it will be paid out to unsecured suppliers
HSBC and NAB declined to comment.
On Tuesday, Ferrier
receiver James Stewart said it would be
“ business as usual” at Dick Smith while
a restructuring and sale process was
“ We are immediately calling for
expressions of interest for a sale of the
business as a going concern,” he said,
adding that employees would continue
to be paid by the receivers.
However, he said that due to Dick
Smith’s dire financial position, gift cards
would not be honoured and deposits
would not be refunded.
Private equity firm Anchorage Capital
paid $94m in 2012 when it purchased
Dick Smith — which operates 393
stores, 62 of them in New Zealand —
from supermarket operator Woolworths.
The retail chain was floated on the
stock market the following year with a
market value of $520m, which had fallen
to $84m by the time trading in the stock
was halted on Monday.
Johnson said Dick Smith’s working
capital deficit on listing had left it in a
According to its annual report, the firm
had $70.5m in loans and borrowings as
of June 28, 2015.
It received a syndicated loan facility
from HSBC and NAB in June, which
made up to $135m available. However,
the facility had been exhausted by the
end of 2015 and the lenders opted for
receivership rather than extending
further funding to the ailing retailer.
In another article published last year,
Matt Ryan, also of Forager Funds, said
Anchorage had funded its acquisition of
the business largely through stripping
out cash from Dick Smith’s balance
sheet. Anchorage had pulled off “the
greatest private equity heist of all time”,
Mr Ryan said.
The retailer posted a 3.1% rise in profit
to $43.3m in its last financial year.
“Despite the supposed profits, free
cash flow last financial year was negative
$35m,” Mr Johnson said. “ That would
undoubtedly be making banks and
suppliers ner vous. ” — NZME
A fire at Cambridge Middle
School yesterday is being treated as
The Fire Ser vice received calls just
after 8am yesterday and arrived to
classrooms well ablaze.
Northern fire communications shift
manager Steve Smith said no one
was in the building and the fire was
extinguished quickly by two local crews.
He said fire safety officers were
working to determine the cause of the
fire. — NZME
School fire suspicious
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
A 21-year-old’s last swim of his
holidays was “moments away ” from
becoming the last swim of his life, says
a paramedic who helped rescue the man
The south Aucklander was holidaying
with family at Hahei in the Coromandel
and was taking a final dip before
returning to the city last night, Marcel
Driessen, flight paramedic for the
Auckland-Coromandel Westpac rescue
About 5.30pm the leisurely swim
turned into something far more serious.
“At the moment with the easterly
winds the sea is quite rough on this side
of the peninsula,” Mr Driessen said.
“He got caught in a rip and was being
dragged out and started fighting against
it and calling out for help.”
The man’s father and an off-duty
lifeguard from Europe rushed to his aid.
“They leaped in the water and helped
drag the young fellow out. His dad said
he thought he was past the point of no
return at one stage.
“They dragged him out and he
collapsed on the sand and started
profusely vomiting. ”
Once ashore, the man was treated by
St John paramedics and stabilised before
the helicopter crew arrived. The busy hot
spot had to be cleared of beachgoers for
the helicopter to land.
The man was taken to Middlemore
Hospital in a serious condition.
“ We call them fatal drownings or non-
fatal drownings, and he was extremely
lucky that this was a non-fatal one,” Mr
Driessen said. “ He was only moments,
or at least minutes, away from being a
Mr Driessen said the near-death was
yet another reminder for swimmers and
those near water to take care.
“ We have had one of the worst
summers on the water especially since
the Christmas period. We have been to a
lot of (water rescues) and it is scary stuff.
“ It is about education and people being
careful and respecting the water — if
you’re not sure, don’t go.”
The number of people who have died
in the water over the recent holiday
break yesterday reached 11, worsening
average Christmas drowning statistics.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Young man saved
drowning in rip
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