Tradies caught in builder's collapse

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 13/11/2012

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Another Southland construction company is in liquidation and industry insiders believe its director has fled to Australia owing hundreds of thousands of dollars to contractors and suppliers in the region.

CS Homes Ltd was put into into voluntary liquidation on Wednesday evening by its director, Colin Murray Hiatt.

Insolvency Management principal Iain Nellies and Paul Jenkins were appointed liquidators.

Mr Nellies was in Invercargill yesterday "to get to the bottom of" the situation.

He said it was early days and he had come to the city to pick up documents he needed immediately.

He also had meetings with homeowners whose houses had been left unfinished, he said.

Mr Nellies confirmed that about five building projects had been affected.

The Southland Times understands one of the projects was at foundation level, one was almost complete and one was about about 90 per cent finished.

It is understood the new Riverton Medical Centre was one of the projects affected.

Plumber Chris O'Sullivan said until a month ago he had been paid but he had not heard from Mr Hiatt and wanted to get in contact with him.

"I would like to know where he is," Mr O'Sullivan said.

He said he had been left high and dry and was owed a substantial sum.

Several other tradesmen contacted by The Southland Times yesterday said they had all been told Mr Hiatt had "bolted" for Australia and were angry because he owed them money.

One of the tradesmen said there was no warning, because Mr Hiatt was up to date with most people he traded with.

"That's how everyone got caught," he said.

He said it was a bit of a tragedy because Mr Hiatt had been trading in the region for more than eight years.

"It's all in the liquidators' hands now. Who knows if we get paid or not."

Mr Hiatt did not return calls to his cellphone yesterday.

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- The Southland Times

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