Bella Vista Homes' former director Danny Cancian has been accused of lying on the stand during his second day testifying in the court case surrounding the failed development company.

Cancian is among the first defendants in the judge-alone trial at Tauranga District Court, more than four weeks after the case resumed last month.

Today, he continued to blame others for building and compliance failings, resulting in the evacuation of 21 houses in various stages of completion of The Lakes sub-division in March 2018.

Danny Cancian, former Bella Vista boss. Photo / File
Danny Cancian, former Bella Vista boss. Photo / File

The company, Cancian, plus The Engineer Ltd, its director Bruce Cameron, and bricklayer Darrel Joseph are defending a raft of charges related to the saga.

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When questioned by prosecution counsel Richard Marchant , Cancian disputed Bella Vista Homes Limited being the employer of people working on the sub-division, suggesting that a separate company, Bella Vista Management Services, was responsible instead.

Several versions of the company's name were heard before Marchant questioned what the exact name was.

"Are you making it up as you go Mr Cancian? It was your company, what's its name?"

"I just told you ... Bella Vista Homes Management Services Limited," Cancian replied.

At this point, Cancian was seen smirking from the dock.

"Do you find it funny Mr Cancian?" Marchant said.

"If this other company existed it was because Bella Vista Homes was in deep financial strife and you were funnelling money out of Bella Visa Homes weren't you?"

Cancian replied: "Am I not allowed to smile? Sorry about that."

After more questioning, voices rose.

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Marchant: "You're lying Mr Cancian, aren't you?"

Cancian: "No, I'm not."

Marchant: "If this other company existed it was because Bella Vista Homes was in deep financial strife and you were funnelling money out of Bella Visa Homes weren't you?"

Gasps could be heard from the public gallery before Cancian replied: "I'm doing something that you're not used to Mr Marchant, I'm telling the truth."

Judge Paul Mabey then interjected, instructing both Marchant and Cancian to stop before summarising much of the morning's cross-examination.

The Bella Vista trial continues in Tauranga District Court, where the development's former director has testified he was let down by others. Photo / File
The Bella Vista trial continues in Tauranga District Court, where the development's former director has testified he was let down by others. Photo / File

The court heard the first two liquidators who investigated the demise of Bella Vista Homes said that a mid-2016 $1.3 million buy-out of cousin and former co-director and shareholder Daniel De Martin had a negative impact on the company, which was insolvent.

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The court heard Cancian did this "under duress", despite the company owing $4.5m, which Cancian disputed.

Judge Mabey referred to yesterday's evidence from Cancian that De Martin had given death threats and Cancian had no choice but to pay him. He asked Cancian whether he sought any help from police.

Cancian said he made a phone call but did not have any documentation or any other correspondence with the police.

"So you're saying that to meet Mr De Martin's demands which, in your description enforced upon you, you were risking the company's insolvency."

Cancian replied: "Yes, but the company wasn't insolvent."

The Bella Vista trial continues in Tauranga District Court, where the development's former director has testified he was let down by others. Photo / File
The Bella Vista trial continues in Tauranga District Court, where the development's former director has testified he was let down by others. Photo / File

The court heard that at the point of the buy-out, Bella Vista Homes was deemed to be in "financial ruin".

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The court heard Bella Vista Homes Management Services was incorporated on January 9, 2017.

Marchant put to Cancian he was the licensed building practioner (LBP) responsible for the Lakes Boulevard homes involved in the case.

The court heard Cancian sent messages to former apprentice Wes Scott, and several others who worked on-site, asking them to make a statement saying former project manager Lee Corner was the licensed building practitioner responsible, not Cancian.

Marchant said: "You asked people to lie, didn't you? About saying Lee Corner that he was the LBP? Because if you were the LBP ... you must have known what was going on in your development."

"You must, because you were under financial pressure, putting people under enormous pressure to do a shoddy job," Marchant said.

Cancian replied: "Not correct."

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"I asked people to say the truth," he said.

"I don't now how many times I have to say it; that [the LBP claim] is incorrect," Cancian said.

"Do you think I'm going to make a mistake or something, which I'm not because I'm telling the truth."

Marchant continued his line of questioning, prompting Cancian to tell the prosecution counsel he was ridiculous.

"You keep asking the same question over and over again. Do you think I'm going to make a mistake or something, which I'm not because I'm telling the truth," Cancian said.

The charges were brought by 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.

Defence counsel for the remaining defendants declined to cross-examine Cancian.

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The trial continues.