City councillors will meet behind closed doors today to discuss Bella Vista negotiations.

The confidential meeting is set down for 3pm at the council chambers, according to the Tauranga City Council weekly bulletin.

On Saturday, Bella Vista homeowners said it had been 43 days since the council said it would buy their homes and they were no clearer about what that would mean.

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Homeowners said the public perception was that the issue was sorted, when in fact they had not had any sort of offer from the council, nor started negotiations.

Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout said the homeowners would get news "in a few days" but said he could not say what the council was considering.

Clout was present when a Bella Vista homeowner Andre Stewart told Tauranga MP Simon Bridges at a public meeting on Saturday that homeowners were feeling "totally isolated and unsupported".

The Tauranga MP and opposition leader spoke to a crowd of more than 400 people at Mount Maunganui College on the finale of his 70-stop tour of New Zealand communities.

National Party Leader Simon Bridges speaks to supporters at Mount Maunganui. Photo / Andrew Warner
National Party Leader Simon Bridges speaks to supporters at Mount Maunganui. Photo / Andrew Warner

Stewert asked Bridges what responsibility the Government had when a council failed its citizens and whether Bridges had a "duty of care" to those people.

Bridges said that as a local MP, he was in their corner.

"There's nothing about what's happened to you that's good."

He said that if the council had not agreed to buy their homes "they would be getting a much tougher response from me."


"They need to purchase your homes and they need to do that quickly.

"I expect, as your local Member of Parliament, that you are not out of pocket as a result of what's happened to you, that you end this situation with your home purchased so you can get on with your life."

He supported Paul Heath QC's call for an independent inquiry to understand why the council failed.

After the meeting on Saturday, homeowners told Bridges they had heard rumours the council was considering offering to buy out their build contracts, rather than setting a market price as if the homes had no defects.

Bridges would not be drawn on what he would expect from the council so far as how they should go about buying the homes, saying he had not explored all the options the council might be considering.

Clout said he could not comment on that rumour, or what the council was considering.

"My understanding is we will be making some significant progress this coming week. In a few days the homeowners will know more."

He thanked homeowners for their patience and said the council was moving as fast as it could, and much faster than this sort of thing would usually take.

Yesterday, Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless said: "I think the residents are hoping for more communication and quicker resolution and hopefully by the middle of the week we should be able to be in a position to progress things further.

"I can understand them wanting things to move faster rather than slower."