Auckland businessman Chris Barrett has served the former governor of Vava’u, Lord Fulivai, with a demand for the repayment of $340,200 over a yellow fin tuna project.
Barrett is demanding full repayment of the amount plus $91,255.86 interest by December 31 or else he has threatened to take the couple to the New Zealand High Court.
The High Court has already found in favour of Barrett an earlier case involving the Lord Fulivai and his wife.
As Kaniva News reported earlier this year, the tuna project was intended to establish open water fish farms off Lord Fulivai’s estate of Hunga Island, Vava’u through a company called Horizon Deep International.
Barrett’s company Pacificon issued an invoice dated August 31, 2020 for US$340,200 to Lord Fulivai, his cousin Michael Thompson and Horizon Deep, of which Thompson is the CEO.
The bill included consultation services, preparation of documents for investors and loans and financial advances for Lord and Lady Fulivai.
Barrett told Kaniva News that Lord Fulivai had ignored demands for payment.
Copies of texts from Lord Fulivai seen by Kaniva News appear to show that he guaranteed Barrett payment of all expenses.
This is not the first time Barrett has pursued Lord Fulivai for non-payment of debts.
In October the High Court in Auckland ordered Lord Fulivai, and his wife to repay Barrett $253,370.60 over a failed land and development deal and personal debts, with interest and all court costs.
The court found the couple had promised Barrett they could provide him with a 99- year lease on land on Pangaimotu in Vava’u as long as he gave them money to pay off people occupying the land.
Barrett said he did not receive any lease and the defendants were therefore in breach of the agreement.
The couple also took loans from Barrett.
An examination of documents surrounding that case showed that Lord Fulivai used the King’s name and that of a former Prime Minister and former Health Minister Saia Piukala in his dealings with Barrett.
New Zealand Police charged the Fulivais with obtaining money by deception. It is understood they will appear in court on January 22.