The man responsible for making the decision to evacuate 21 homes from the Bella Vista Homes subdivision says it's possible people might not have had to flee, had he been given more time.


Geo-technical engineer Michael Trigger continued giving evidence in Tauranga District Court today in the judge-alone trial, which has come following the March 2018 evacuation and liquidation of the building company involved.

Trigger, who works for BCD Group and does some work for Tauranga City Council, began testifying in the trial yesterday and continued this morning.

Bella Vista Homes Limited, The Engineer Limited, their respective directors Danny Cancian and Bruce Cameron, and bricklayer Darrel Joseph are defending a raft of charges.

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The charges were brought by the Tauranga City Council and relate to the defendants allegedly carrying out building works which were not in accordance with the Building Act, in particular a building consent.

The now empty site where Bella Vista Homes were built at The Lakes. Photo / File
The now empty site where Bella Vista Homes were built at The Lakes. Photo / File

Under cross-examination from Cancian's defence counsel Bill Nabney Trigger admitted it was possible the evacuation of the 21 homes in The Lakes could have potentially been avoided if there had not been incoming tropical cyclone Hola.

"If I'd started my assessment in December, not one week before the cyclone was forecast, it may have been a different situation," Trigger said.

Nabney put to Trigger: "You stand by your decision to evacuate the buildings but had you more time, it might have been different?"

"Yes, had there been more time," Trigger said.

The court heard the lack of a retaining wall at 5 Aneta Way was problematic as there had already been erosion and slips in the area and the presence of pumice in the soil was a concern.

Trigger said while there were "a few" buildings considered too dangerous occupy, some were less so but still "affected" by their proximity to the dangerous buildings.

The trial continues.

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