Bella Vista: Council compo offer ’disappointing’

Defunct Tauranga housing development Bella Vista Housing Development. - Photo: RNZ / Eva Corlett

Former residents of a botched development in Tauranga have described a compensation offer as "heartbreaking".

Tauranga City Council signed off on the Bella Vista development despite major construction defects. Residents were forced to abandon their homes in March.

Young families, retirees and solo parents sank their savings into their new Bella Vista homes, but their dreams were dashed when it was discovered the homes were leaky and built on unstable foundations.

Two months ago the residents pleaded with the council to buy back the properties at full market value - before any defects were found - and provide extra compensation.

Yesterday, the council said it would buy back the houses at the prices residents paid for them about three years ago, plus $10,000 dollars each in costs.

Andre Stewart, who bought his first home at Bella Vista with his wife Chloe and their two young children, is devastated by the offer.

"Heartbroken, was my immediate reaction. That after two years, I'm in a worse position than I was."

The family's options were limited to looking for something well below what they intended to buy.

Former resident Degen Prodger says the loss of value in the past two years locked them out of buying another home in Tauranga.

"It is only fair to get full market value to set up in a similar house."

The residents' request was not unreasonable for a group of people left with nothing, through no fault of their own, Degen says.

"We are ratepayers ourselves and the ratepayers they are talking about are supporting us."

Yesterday, the council said it had to balance the needs of residents with those of ratepayers.

Resident Lee Konowe says in 13 years living in New Zealand, he's never witnessed such shoddy work from local government.

"If part of our process reduces that probability in the future, then maybe we have done a good thing."

There was no reason why the council could not increase its offer when it was getting the majority of compensation from insurers, Lee says.

Some residents have already filed documents in the High Court against the council, seeking damages of $50,000 per property plus costs and damages.

Tauranga City Council declined to be interviewed today. It's considering court action against the developers.


8 Comments

An opinion on the offer

Posted on 25-07-2018 14:35 | By backofthequeue

In an opinion piece published today Mike Hosking suggests that the Bella Vista homeowners "Take it and tell them they’re bastards." As much as I agree with half of that statement I look at the repeated failings, read negligence, by Council inspectors and recommend the affected owners unite in a class action and force Council to review their offer to be at least a little bit decent.

Really TCC

Posted on 25-07-2018 14:34 | By Kaimai

Are the developers not in receivership? So why is TCC considering court action against a company that is in receivership? The company has no money, so what is the objective? Time for a Commissioner to be appointed to TCC

Staggering

Posted on 25-07-2018 13:55 | By Slim Shady

It beggars belief that TCC keep making mistake on mistake on mistake. In the scheme of things it makes no difference to ratepayers by paying these people what they deserve. You have to question not only their lack of compassion but also their lack of brains.

Should be chasing the Developer

Posted on 25-07-2018 12:50 | By tgacentral

To be fair the reason they don’t have houses is because they entered into a contract with a notoriously dodgy developer who, surprise surprise, built dodgy homes and then filed for bankruptcy after having shifted all his cash out of the business. Sure TCC made some mistakes in the inspection process but they are not the reason these people are not living in these houses today. It shouldn’t be up to ratepayers to meet every demand of these landowners when TCC and the ratepayers are already digging them out of a big hole and their problem is primarily a civil one with the developer who drastically failed to meet the terms of their contract.

Careful

Posted on 25-07-2018 12:25 | By Told you

Take Danny to court at your peril.

What..!

Posted on 25-07-2018 12:06 | By Marshal

How come, now the Council say they need to balance the needs of the ratepayers . Strange logic from a group who have never before balanced the needs of the rate payer.. They are moving further and further from the mind set of elected officials . Councils gather and distribute funds as if it were their personal bank account.. They are elected to do as the ratepayers wish.. Makes the word wish sound like a dream . lol. I doubt there is a ratepayer in this city who doesn’t feel the council are acting like a devious corporate arrangement. Free your selves from all the negative energy being created, and pay them todays market value so everyone can get on with living in harmony.. How hard would it be.. !!

compo

Posted on 25-07-2018 10:25 | By dumbkof2

i think this is a very generous offer. they are not losing any money and being given 10,000 xtra. what more do they want. the buildings are only worth what they are uncompleted. methinks a little bit of greed is creeping in

Offer too low!

Posted on 25-07-2018 09:56 | By jed

They have lost their houses. They should be compensated the amount which it would cost to get similar houses in todays market.

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