Former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley to appeal Mainzeal High Court decision

Former Mainzeal directors, including Dame Jenny Shipley, will appeal a High Court decision relating to their role in the collapse of the construction company.

In February, Dame Jenny, as well as Clive Tilby, Peter Gomm and Richard Yan were ordered to pay $36 million for breaching their directors' duties and trading recklessly with the Mainzeal construction company.

But on Tuesday, they announced they will be appealing the decision.

"The directors do not agree with the High Court judgment and believe they have strong grounds to challenge the decision," a statement said.

Brian Mayo-Smith and Andrew Bethell of liquidators BDO, who work on behalf of the creditors, called the move "disappointing".

"Many creditors, who through no fault of their own, lost millions when Mainzeal was put into liquidation and were put into serious financial difficulty as a result," said Bethell.

"The $36 million damages awarded by the High Court meant they would have received some compensation for the considerable losses they suffered."

He said they would be working with their legal team to determine their role in the Court of Appeal.

Mainzeal went into liquidation in early 2013, owing unsecured creditors like tradies, sub-contractors and employees about $110 million.

After the High Court decision, Dame Jenny, Tilby, and Gomm issued a statement noting they would be considering their options.

"The Court's basis for finding liability appears to have novel aspects which will require careful consideration. The directors will not comment further at this stage as they take advice and consider their options."

Bethell said at the time that creditors had long been waiting for that ruling.

"We are thrilled with this judgment by the High Court, which sets an important precedent for the required standards of corporate governance and care owed by company directors in New Zealand towards the company and creditors," he said.

Dame Jenny, Tilby, and Gomm are represented by Chapman Tripp.

The liquidators have ten working days to file a cross-appeal.