Wingnut Wings Update
by Dave Wilson
Sad news from New Zealand today indicates Wingnut Wings has been closed down permanently and its assets are to be sold off.
Details are yet to be publicly disclosed but it’s understood staff have been informed they no longer have jobs at Wingnuts, and all assets- the moulds etc- are to be disposed of.
Wingnuts, which was begun by Sir Peter Jackson in 2009, has like many NZ businesses been locked down recently due to the coronavirus shutdowns there.
The business issues affecting the decision to close the business permanently are not yet known but are not thought to be entirely due to the Covid 19 issue.
The Forum contacted Wingnuts’ General Manager, Richard Alexander yesterday and sought comment. He responded that an official statement would be forthcoming.
When we approached him today (Thursday) on this matter, the email diverted to a message referring all future Wingnut Wings matters to Clare Olssen and Kate Leppard.
Clare Olssen is Chief Executive Officer of WingNut Films and Kate Leppard is the company’s Chief Financial Officer.
We sought official comment from Clare Olssen and Kate Leppard. We asked about the status of the Wingnut Wings business, the employment status of staff and the situation re pending mail orders in their system.
There has been no response from the designated contacts for Wingnut Wings. Significantly Richard’s name now no longer appears on replies from his official email address.
Update: late Thursday Richard Alexander confirmed to the Forum that he is no longer at Wingnut Wings. Asked about the situation there he said "I am not able to comment at this time".
Further confirmation came from Bryan Wall, one of the Wingnuts designers, who posted on the Wingnut Wings Fans' page on Facebook: "Guys we are closed for good I am sorry to say, the whole team was made redundant on Wednesday".
By Friday morning the Wingnuts website, which had still been accepting online orders, has now been changed and all online orders have been suspended. The website message alludes to Covid-19 issues and still does not address the closure of the business but does assure customers that current pending orders will be processed " as soon as possible".
It’s understood there are also major job cuts at the Vintage Aviator (TVAL) too with all aircraft production stopped, most staff made redundant and the company retrenched to a maintenance team for the existing aircraft collection.
Sir Peter Jackson has made no comment on the closure decisions.
More details will be posted when they are known.