This is also despite the recent loss of PSL’s former counsel Peter Dawson, who filed a notice of withdrawal with the High Court in Rarotonga earlier this week.
In an affidavit also filed with the High Court in Rarotonga earlier this week, PSL director Garth Broadhead said that since last November’s court-ordered scheme of arrangement, he and his fellow directors Daniel Moreland and Michael Henry had been making arrangements “for crew, parts, safety equipment and other matters to prepare the vessel for trade by 31st March 2018”.
These arrangements have included advertising for officers and crew in the US, where they have been seeking a master and mates, an engineer, cook, deckhands and apprentices.
Broadhead’s court-filed affidavit went on to state that “recent actions by the Ports Authority, which we believe to be unreasonable and unlawful, have manifestly interfered in our ability to continue with the process to bring the vessel back into service”.
Speaking to CINews, Broadhead confirmed PSL had contracted several ship’s officers, pending the filing and processing of their medical and immigration applications.
“Notwithstanding that, the action by Ports is preventing us from fully enacting various parts of the scheme of arrangement; we still expect to be able to operate by the end of the month,” he added. “Whether we actually can operate, or not, will depend on the outcome of the current proceedings.”
Regarding PSL’s loss of counsel, Broadhead explained that he and Dawson had previously discussed that “because of his (Dawson’s) workload he would withdraw”.
“He just hadn’t formally done it because there was no real need to, as we weren’t expecting any other action.
“But the trespass notice has prompted him to formally tell the court that he’s withdrawn. He’s still working with me on other matters, but not the Pacific Schooners stuff any longer.”
Broadhead says the court has asked for final submissions regarding the Port Authority’s trespass notice against the Tiare Taporo to be filed by lunchtime today.