Warren Cook, the owner-operator of the refrigeration company at the centre of the fatal Icepak Coolstore blaze in Tamahere, has registered a new company.
Cook is the owner-operator of Mobile Refrigeration Specialists which was last month fined $56,200 in the Hamilton District Court and ordered to pay the fire victims $175,000 for its part in the Tamahere blaze. The decision has been appealed.
Now Mr Cook is the majority shareholder in Benson Aircon NZ Ltd and his business partner is Ella van Eden, the wife of Icepak Group chairman Jan van Eden.
Cook told the Waikato Times that despite being registered on November 30 the business had been in the pipeline for a long time.
“It was being worked on prior to the Tamahere incident, it’s just taken this long because we are negotiating various aspects of the business and I have no intention to discuss what that business is,” he said.
Mr Cook said Benson Aircon had “nothing to do with commercial refrigeration”.
“At this stage it hasn’t even got off the ground and I am not prepared to make any other statement as it could spoil our negotiations,” he said.
In court last month, Mr Cook’s counsel, Marc Corlett, said Mr Cook was “wiped out financially” as a result of the Tamahere accident and said the mobile refrigeration company was able to pay reparation because of its insurance cover, though any fine was likely to tip the company into liquidation.
Mr Cook couldn’t give a timeframe for when his new business would be operational.