Director of failed firm back in action

The director of a Canterbury building firm that went bust owing about $1.5 million is working for another company hired to complete the unfinished work.

One contractor who is owed tens of thousands says it is a "kick in the teeth" to homeowners.

In March, Genesis Builders was put into liquidation owing about $1.5m to more than 50 creditors and a single shareholder.

The firm's collapse has also further stalled work on homes it was meant to complete more than a year ago.

Now Danny Hunt, the company's sole director, is back working as a salesman for Platinum Homes, which the insurer for Genesis enlisted to complete the costings for the company's outstanding work.

"The biggest thing is that the owners still carry on and seem to start up in some capacity," said owner of Celcrete Cladding Solutions, Mark Bryant.

"It's bit of a kick in the teeth for the homeowners."

Hunt said he was "completely divorced" from any work to do with Genesis in his current role.

"I'm a commissioned salesman and I haven't got involved in any of that."

He did not provide further comment.

Bryant said he was owed tens of thousands of dollars by Genesis but held out little hope of getting any of it back.

"It just means you have to control your debtors and you don't put them out too far - if you can't make a business work now, you will never make it work."

A liquidator's report seen by The Press said: "Based on the information received to date it would appear that the failure of the company is attributable to poor project management, including a lack of adequate supervision of jobs, the requirement for significant remedial work, poor pricing and inadequate back costing."

Another roofing company is owed about $80,000.

From January to March, at least 18 Christchurch companies connected to the construction industry went bust, involving more than $4m of debt that is unlikely to be paid.

At least 15 companies went into liquidation, and three into receivership.

However, executive director of corporate restructuring at Ernst and Young, Rhys Cain, said these only pointed to companies registered in Christchurch.

"It's a really good example of some of the pitfalls that are out there at the moment," Cain said. "I think there are a lot of companies that are trading close to the wind and it doesn't take very much to tip them."

Bernard Cherry signed up Genesis Builders in 2012 and expected to have his Sefton home finished six months later. He is still living in a caravan with his partner.

Ray Young said he also signed with Genesis in 2012 and his home was meant to be finished by early 2013. He and his family had spent time camping at their West Melton section but moved in to a rental home about a month ago "for the health of the kids".

They had spent thousands of dollars renting when they should have been in their home, he said.

Dave McBeth, who also built with Genesis, said he could feel the company was going under: "With a builder, when you start dropping behind and not answering the phone there is a reason for it."

He signed in June, 2012 and was still waiting for his home to be completed.

The Press