The Bella Vista Homes computer server is missing, according to the liquidators of the failed Tauranga building company.
And everyone the liquidators have spoken to is denying knowing anything about that.
Bella Vista Homes was put into voluntary liquidation about 22 months ago, which halted its development at The Lakes and left behind unfinished houses and more than $4.4 million in creditors' claims.
The liquidators of Bella Vista Homes say they have been looking for the company's computer server to access past documents and emails relating to the financial performance of the business before it folded.
They say they have sought the server's whereabouts with former Bella Vista director and sole shareholder Danny Cancian, his son Robert – who had an IT role with the company, as well as others.
"And to date, we've been unable to locate it and Mr [Danny] Cancian has been unable to produce it," Rhys Cain, a Christchurch-based insolvency practitioner with the company EY, told the Bay of Plenty Times this week.
Danny Cancian has told the Times that he doesn't even know if there was a computer server.
• New Bella Vista twist: What it might now mean for boss Danny Cancian
• Fateful decision: The meeting that was a defining moment in the Bella Vista disaster
• Big Read: The Bella Vista Homes nightmare
Cain said he and his EY colleague Rees Logan had made "extensive inquiries" as to the location of the server.
"Emails and documents have to be stored somewhere," he said.
Five revelations from the damning Bella Vista report
MBIE report: Bella Vista development a 'significant failure' by council
Cain said everyone they have spoken to so far has denied knowing where it is.
"So that's a real issue for us."
He said it means they cannot go back and look at relevant documents and emails.
"Apart from the communications that would have gone on both internally and with external parties regarding various matters, we really are very keen to see what evidence of discussions there were in respect to the share purchase between Mr [Danny] Cancian and Daniel De Martin."
The buyout of former Bella Vista director and shareholder Daniel De Martin took place about one year and three months before Bella Vista Homes went into liquidation.
The liquidators have previously said that De Martin bought his initial 50 per cent shareholding in Bella Vista for $5000 and walked away with more than $2 million in cash and assets – as part of his settlement in August 2016.
Cain said that buyout is still a main focus of the liquidators. He said they have been in contact with De Martin about it.
"One of the crucial things that have come up for question is whether the company was insolvent at the time of the transaction. We've certainly got quite divergent points of view on that and that's what we're working through."
He said that's one reason why the Bella Vista server, and whatever evidence it may hold, is needed.
Cain said Danny Cancian had made some suggestions as to where it may be, "but those people that he's suggested claim to have no knowledge of it, and certainly not have it".
"And so the Bella Vista Homes computer server is missing, at the moment," Cain said.
He said the server would also give the liquidators a good indication of what was happening with Bella Vista's creditors at various stages.
There might also be communications on it with the likes of the Tauranga City Council, which is locked in an ongoing court case with Bella Vista Homes, Danny Cancian, and other parties.
Cain said they have also gone to the previous liquidators to ask about the server.
When the Bay of Plenty Times this week contacted Danny Cancian – who is running for a seat on the Tauranga City Council in the upcoming local elections – he said he "wouldn't have a clue" about the missing server.
"It's obviously between the liquidators and the people concerned, nothing to do with the media."
He said: "I don't even know if there was a computer server, I wouldn't know."
Cancian also said that his son Robert had "nothing to do with anything" and that "there were many staff in Bella Vista".
He said everything – "all the files" – was given to the first set of liquidators, who Cain and Logan took over from in January last year.
The Times this week contacted one of those liquidators, Thomas Rodewald, and asked about the server.
He said he couldn't remember and that his colleague Kim Thompson, who mainly handled the Bella Vista case, was currently overseas.
When the Times contacted Robert Cancian this week, he declined to comment. He said he had already said everything he needed to say to the liquidators.