Starplus Homes staff 'in the dark'

Some Hamilton tradespeople and contractors are understood to be owed hundreds of thousands of dollars by Chinese building company Starplus Homes.

The company appears to have ceased trading and has left its sales and project staff in the dark about the future of their jobs.

The company, which specialises in building "affordable" spec homes in the Waikato and Auckland, has around 50 sections and building projects partially or nearly finished in Flagstaff, Rototuna and Cambridge, sources said.

The company told staff at its Aquila Cres, Rototuna office to go home last Friday.

They have heard nothing since and cannot contact the sole director and shareholder Richard Zongyan Lee of Auckland, a source said. The office had about 10 staff.

Subcontractors who had worked on Starplus projects recently said they were owed money, but were confident Lee could trade through whatever difficulty the six-year-old company was in.

One earthworks contractor said he was owed more than $40,000 while a drainage specialist was owed $185,000.

The company is not in receivership or liquidation, according to Companies Office records.

Efforts to contact Mr Lee or company representatives listed on advertising were unsuccessful. Company office phones in Hamilton and Auckland are ringing unanswered.

Waikato