28 Apr 2015

Auckland Transport link to bribery charges

3:25 pm on 28 April 2015

Three people connected to Auckland Council-controlled agency Auckland Transport have appeared in court on bribery charges involving more than $1 million.

Stephen James Borlase, 50, Barrie Kenneth James George, 68, and one other man who has name suppression, appeared in the North Shore District Court this morning before a registrar.

The string of charges was laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and related to bribing an official and using a document for pecuniary advantage between 2005 and 2013.

The SFO alleged Mr George and an associate, while in engineering and management roles either at Auckland Transport or the Rodney District Council, received undisclosed payments from Mr Borlase, the director of supplier Projenz Limited. It said those payments often came in the form of cash, travel, accommodation and entertainment.

Auckland Transport has said the charges relate to its road corridor maintenance business, which looks after more than 700km of the region's roads.

The three men did not enter a plea to the charges and have been remanded on bail to reappear on 18 May.

Mr Borlas said in a written statement outside court he considered his company's behaviour and business practices to be common and widespread and long accepted as normal and lawful.