Buying a home, moving in and making plans for the future are usually happy times.

It's a time when, traditionally, milestones are being reached, and people make plans to grow their families or other parts of their lives and settle down.

For homeowners of the failed Bella Vista development, it's been less of a dream and more of a nightmare.

On March 9, Tauranga City Council evacuated 21 houses in The Lakes development as Cyclone Hola approached.


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In April, the owners and residents of the evacuated homes had their lives turned upside down, receiving the shattering news their homes were unable to be re-occupied.

Since the drama unfolded, residents have been forced into finding alternative accommodation and some faced the financial stress of having to pay for other accommodation plus a mortgage for a home they can't live in - on top of all of the extra living costs of being away from home.

But the financial issues are just the tip of the iceberg for the unfortunate Bella Vista homeowners.

Yesterday morning, a majority of those affected gave emotional accounts of their own personal Bella Vista nightmares.

People spoke about suffering health, children being traumatised, relationship breakdowns, fears of losing custody of children and not being able to adopt children because they no longer have stable homes.

There were plenty of tears, hugs and support for the victims, particularly from their peers who were facing a similar heartbreak - the community of Bella Vista homeowners.

It warms your heart to know these homeowners can find some solace in each other, but it's a situation they should never have been in, in the first place.


I, like many others, hope this nightmare ends for them soon.