A Hamilton developer has avoided a jail term after paying back the near $900,000 in failed tax payments.

In the Hamilton District Court last week, Judge Robert Spear instead, and "with some misgivings', sentenced Todd Robert Potter to six months' community detention and 100 hours' community work for failing to pay PAYE in relation to two of his contracting businesses.

The offending happened over five years and on 43 separate occasions with his companies Potter Contracting 2013 Ltd and Potter Civil Engineering Contractors Ltd and during construction of a development at Te Kauwhata, northwest of Hamilton.

The offending totalled $867,145.01, with about $500,000 paid back before charges were laid.

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The remaining $367,546.22, excluding penalties and interest, was settled during court proceedings just prior to sentencing.

Potter pleaded guilty after accepting a sentence indication issued by Judge Spear on April 4.

"With some misgivings I am prepared to impose that indicated sentence [community detention]. That's largely because the fact that there has been full reparation paid outside interest and penalties.

"Those of course will be payable by the companies rather than by you."

Potter would carry out his community detention sentence in Rotorua and involves him being on curfew from 6pm to 7am next day, seven days a week.