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New Zealand’s Ticket Rocket to be liquidated over unpaid debt

Struggling ticket company Ticket Rocket is set to be liquidated after an application by New Zealand Super Rugby franchises the Crusaders and Hurricanes was successful in court earlier today (Thursday).

Fortress Information Systems Ltd which trades as Ticket Rocket, was not represented in the High Court of Dunedin, when Associate Judge Kenneth ordered the company be liquidated over the non-payment of the debt earlier today.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the Hurricanes had sought to have the company be liquidated, over a debt of NZ$186,000 (£94,600/€104,700/$123,900), which had not been paid.

A lawyer acting on behalf of Crusaders had no objection over the liquidation, with the franchise owed NZ$155,000, and was also seeking costs of NZ$4,000.

Earlier this summer, the Crusaders served a writ to the ticketing firm, demanding the debt be repaid or it would apply to the High Court to have it liquidated. The company was put into receivership at the end of August.

According to Stuff, court documents from the Hurricanes uncover details about the agreement between the franchise and Ticket Rocket, formerly TicketDirect, including that money would initially be held and received on trust.

Ticket Rocket’s collapse has left many ticket holders and organisations out of pocket – including those involved in sports, music and entertainment. Other clients left wanting include the not-for-profit Nelson Youth Theatre, which faced a NZ$15,000 loss for two productions.

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge previously told the Otago Daily Times that he became aware of issues with Fortress Information Systems when customers had trouble getting their money back for season tickets after games were cancelled earlier in the year.

Under receivership, Ticket Rocket could sell tickets to Mitre 10 Cup rugby games, but now that liquidation is in motion, its trading will be halted.

The business has been subject to a barrage of criticism since June, when people started complaining about not being able to get refunds for cancelled events.

Earlier this month, an advertisement in the Otago Daily Times promoted the sale of Ticket Rocket’s “key investment highlights”, advising of the opportunity to “acquire an established ticketing service”, which would come with ticketing software and a “skilled technical team”.

Canadian national and long-time Dunedin resident Matthew Davey, who had been a director and shareholder in the Highlanders until earlier this year, owned the ticketing business.

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