Gerald Shirtcliff appearing via video link at the Earthquake Commission
By Annabelle Tukia
The man who oversaw the construction of the CTV building has admitted to the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission that he is a convicted fraudster and now living in Australia under a different name.
Gerald Shirtcliff proved elusive for the commission to track down - he's now living in Brisbane with the last name Fischer.
When the commission first asked Mr Shirtcliff to give evidence he was reluctant. But today via video link from Australia the CTV construction manager said his piece - and outlined what he said was his limited involvement with the building.
“I did not visit the CTV building on a daily basis, I was not required to and I did not assist Mr Jones - the foreman - on prepping design, the construction program, quality control or any general problems.”
He told the hearing that was because the CTV build was straightforward and he didn't need to oversee it closely. He only visited the site once a month, leaving the job in the hands of foreman Bill Jones.But counsel assisting the commission Mark Zarifeh rejected Mr Shirtcliff's recollection of events.
“You are trying to distance yourself from any involvement or any considerable involvement in the CTV building construction, do you accept that?”
“No I do not,” Mr Shirtcliff replied.
But quantity surveyor Tony Scott, who shared an office with Shirtcliff, told the hearing he believed Mr Shirtcliff visited the CTV site daily.
“I don't think he'd have been able to fulfil his role as a construction manager if he visited less than daily,” Mr Scott said.
Earlier, the man who appointed Mr Shirtcliff to his role as construction manager admitted that, in hindsight, Mr Shirtcliff wasn't up to the job.