Minister of Commerce met devastated franchise Investors

Many are naive at the complexities of the situation as they simply feel the money should be returned now.
January 7, 2008

Minister of Commerce met devastated franchise Investors


A very worried and angry group of investors, who invested in the franchise service company 'Green Acres', met with the Minister of Commerce, Ms Dalziel in Mount Roskill today.

The Minister broke from her holiday to come to the meeting.

The group of people are New Zealanders, mostly from the Indian and Chinese communities. They were sold franchises that they allege were sold on false pretenses with their businesses no longer operating. The group felt they had been targeted and as a result of their losses are seeking recovery of their money. They were demanding of the Minister that Government provide an effective remedy to enable them return of their investments and to see the wrongs are righted. Many are naive at the complexities of the situation as they simply feel the money should be returned now.

Many people borrowed money to purchase the franchises and are now experiencing pressure from their lenders (banks and finance companies) as a result of their non existent income.

The franchise was a home based ironing business, promising good returns for work done. Apparently Green Acres advertised the business in community papers relating to the different ethnic groups.

The Minister confirmed the Serious Fraud Office is investigating the complaint and she has made commitments to the group to assist in any way that Government can.

The Minister has promised that the Chief of the Serious Fraud office will meet with the group in the near future. She is working to get other Government agencies to assist in reaching a positive outcome for the many people suffering

Consultant for the Negotiator Limited, Suzanne Edmonds also attended the meeting today by invitation from the leaders of the group. Mrs Edmonds said from Auckland this afternoon “This is another case of a salesman’s greed and these decent hard working people have obviously been cheated.” Mrs Edmonds went on to say, “New Zealanders seem to be very trusting but sadly this is another case that proves that some ‘sales people’ are not to be trusted. Harsher penalties and more resources for policing may be a deterrent to white collar opportunist..

A victim, who does not want to be identified, today said, “ I just want justice. Our people have been targeted and our lives have been devastated by this.”

The action group is called ‘Franchise Watch’, formed by highly motivated and committed individuals who will see this to the end!

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