A Tauranga building company is being wound up after work stopped on about 30 houses at The Lakes in October.
Bella Vista Homes went into voluntary liquidation this week, leaving one young family worried about the prospect of incurring extra costs to complete their home.
Liquidator and Hamilton accountant Kim Thompson said that everyone who still had a building contract with Bella Vista would get a letter as a matter of priority. About 30 people were involved although some had already cancelled their contracts.
''This affects a lot of people's lives. We have got to get on and deal with this as quickly as we can.''
Tauranga-based Tom Rodewald had also been appointed as liquidator.
Large numbers of building subcontractors and trade suppliers were impacted by the liquidation.
Thompson said the company's record-keeping had been excellent and he hoped that a report would be filed with the Companies Office by next Thursday, setting out the names of the creditors.
''It will not show how much each is owed but it will show who they are - it is quite an extensive list. Potentially it is a large amount of money.''
He said house owners needed to understand that the liquidators would either take responsibility for completing the contracts or that the owners would be free to contract others to complete their houses.
He said it was too early in the liquidation to comment on why the company had failed. The only work that Bella Vista was doing was in Lakes Boulevard.
Thompson said Bella Vista told him that work had stopped and the company ceased trading after it received work prohibition notices from WorkSafe.
He was referring to a sign that went up on Bella Vista's office at The Lakes in October which stated that the office had closed ''due to Worksafe closures on our building sites''.
WorkSafe communications manager Mark Scott responded to the Bay of Plenty Times that it had not closed down the 16 Bella Vista building sites at Lakes Boulevard.
''The decision to stop all work is Bella Vista's and is not required by the enforcement action.''
Two prohibition notices were issued. One was to stop exposing workers to the risk of ground collapse from excavated faces higher than 1.5m without any bank retaining measures. The other was inadequate foundations and supporting ground conditions for scaffolding, and the risk to scaffolding from ground collapse from the excavated faces.
Scott said the notices did not stop the company from undertaking other work. The notices would remain in place until safety requirements had been met.
Bella Vista Homes was one of the reasons why the Tauranga City Council ordered an independent review of its building services department.
Accounting and professional services firm BDO looked into problems around the length of time the council was taking to process building consent applications and frustrations with the council repeatedly asking applicants for more information.
Andrew Sloman, of BDO, told the Bay of Plenty Times in June that the complaints made by Bella Vista were against wider industry disquiet about the council's performance.
BDO's report revealed that a single building consent application by Bella Vista generated 81 requests for information by building consent processing staff.
BDO said it found no evidence to suggest deliberate obstruction by the council in relation to its dealings with Bella Vista. BDO qualified this by saying that its inspection of council consent files did not constitute an audit or forensic examination. Nor did it review every aspect of the allegations or evidence provided by Bella Vista.
''There is no doubt that TCC building department have learnings from their dealings with Bella Vista over the past 12 months.''
Comment was sought yesterday from Bella Vista Homes director Danny Cancian of Pyes Pa. He did not respond by deadline to messages, including a request forwarded through his accountant.
A young Tauranga family of first-home buyers is heartbroken they will not be spending Christmas in their new home at The Lakes.
Instead, the Stewart family has joined others caught in the liquidation of their house builder, Bella Vista Homes.
''It was a great deal in a great location and now we are looking at being out of pocket. We are heartbroken,'' Andre Stewart told the . ''Around 30 families have been affected by this.''
They signed up for the home in July last year and were expecting their Lakes Boulevard house to be finished by December 20 this year. Instead it is only half built.
''Everything was going fine, and then all of a sudden the work stopped.''
It happened about a week after WorkSafe's notices went up on fences around October 12.
''We were unaware of anything major until we heard that the builders had been let go and Bella Vista staff were leaving the company.''
There was concern among families around why the houses continued to be built behind and in front of unretained banks.
''That's where it is interesting. Who was responsible for those works?''
Stewart said everyone was devastated by this. ''A lot of us are first-home buyers, we are quite upset about what has happened.''
He feared that some families may not be able to afford the extra costs of finding another builder to finish the job.
''We have been left high and dry ... The Lakes is a great community and we were all attracted to the area.''
Stewart said that from what he could see the building work covered by his last progress payment to Bella Vista Homes had been completed.
A pressing issue for him was that the house had not been closed in to make it weathertight. Until the bank was retained, a lot of work could not be done at the rear of the house.
Bella Vista Homes Ltd
- First registered July 9, 2014
- Director Danny John Cancian
- Last annual return November 13, 2016
- Entered liquidation November 30, 2017