Hanover Finance director Mark Hotchin attended a meeting of the company’s investors yesterday, and spoke about how the company’s plight had affected him personally.
Emotional and struggling to hold back tears, Hotchin told the gathered investors about the pain he felt.
“The recession has left me financially devastated,” he explained. “I feel your pain. I really do.
“My plans for a dream home have been all but destroyed”, he said, referring to the opulent mansion being built on Paratai Drive. “I’ve had to make so many compromises that my heart’s not in it anymore.
“The grand staircase was meant to be lined with 24 carat gold and encrusted with diamonds. I’ve kept the gold, but I’ve had to downgrade to sapphires and rubies. It’s just not the same. And I have had to scrap plans for the enormous golden dome that was supposed to rival St Peter’s Basilica for size.
“Worst of all I’ve had to abandon plans for the special toilet-paper to go into each of the 34 bathrooms. You’ve no idea how hard that has been to deal with. Once you’ve felt the softness of Italian silk nothing else will do.”
Asked if he thought his plight could be compared with the suffering of those who had lost everything, he replied: “I feel for them. But I’m a victim too. Every time I see Graeme Hart’s super-yacht I burst into tears. Some days the pain’s so bad I can barely get out of my enormous golden bed.”
Hotchin’s tale of misery has clearly moved Hanover investors. Jim Smith, 74, a retired Nelson pharmacist, says he has over $200,000 tied up in Hanover. “The guy’s genuine” Smith said. “It broke my heart to listen to his story. I just wanted to give him a big hug.
“I had dreams too. My wife and I were going to use some of the money to fly to the UK to see our children, but that’s on hold now. She’s sick anyway, and the money would have been useful to help pay the medical bills. At our age, I’m not sure if we’ll see the family again.
“Still, imagine having to abandon plans to build a bejewelled palace the size of the Taj Mahal. He must be devastated.”