Property editor of the NZ Herald

Whangarei businesses 'unaffected' by Stonewood receivership

A Stonewood - built home in Wanganui.
A Stonewood - built home in Wanganui.

A business connected to Christchurch-headquartered Stonewood Homes has distanced itself from this week's receivership, saying it is unaffected.

Stonewood Homes Whangarei, a franchisee of master franchisor Stonewood Homes NZ which went into receivership on Monday, issued a statement this week, after KordaMentha was appointed.

"It has come to light today that Stonewood Homes NZ, which is our franchisor, has been placed into receivership. Marcus Bracey as director along with Danielle Bracey as business owners of Stonewood Homes Whangarei want you all to know we are independently owned and operated here in Whangarei and this announcement will not affect the way we run our business," the Whangarei business said.

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The statement came after master franchisor of the Stonewood Group - Stonewood New Zealand Ltd - and two sister companies, Stonewood Homes Ltd and Sterling Homes Ltd, were placed in the hands of KordaMentha's Grant Graham and Neale Jackson.

The Whangarei business said it was continuing to trade, all houses under construction would continue to the same schedule and completed houses would continue to receive the same level of after-sales service.

"Houses due to start will continue to progress through the build process. We are also continuing to sign new contracts for future builds. It is 'business as usual' for us. We are current with all our creditors and today alone have had a lot of phone calls of support from suppliers. Any of our suppliers are happy to act as a referee on our behalf and we can give a list of these on request," the Whangarei business said.

"While we are incredibly disappointed with this we will continue to deliver a quality service building new homes throughout our Whangarei business. We are 100% committed to our business and the Whangarei area and surrounds," the business said, adding that all the contact details, office details and email address's remained the same and the business welcomed any questions or any information requests.

Comments on social media indicated other Stonewood franchisees were busy, particularly around the Wanaka area which one person said was "run off their feet with jobs".

Others told of grim situations.

"Heartbreaking. Just spoken to the owner of a painting and plastering company, who's owed more than $100,000 from Stonewood Homes. He told me until yesterday, he was promised an injection of money and everything seemed to be going well. What on earth has gone wrong?" asked one commentator.

Others raised issues about insurance payouts, while plasters and painters complained of not being paid and many people said they had known about issues for at least 18 months.

"Today has been a very dark day for a lot of hard working Cantabs out there trying to earn a honest living," one commentator said.

- NZ Herald

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