Sunday, March 27, 2005

Who wants to be a developer...ANYONE!

So lets introduce you to Paul Hewitt, developer [oh and director of several other failed companies - as we found out later and never divulged to us - See my tip at the bottom of this post] . When my wife and I first met Paul (at the offices of LJ Hooker in Khandallah) we thought he seemed like a nice guy. Somewhat quiet but he seemed to know what he was doing and we asked lots of questions about previous properties that he had built and how many staff he employed - sensible stuff. What we didn't expect were the barefaced lies which were all verified by the Realtor. I'll give you an example.

Q. "So, how many people do you employ?"
A. " Oh, about 10 people, some chippies, jibbers and the like."

Q. "Will there be any problems with completing on time; we want to be in by Christmas [2002]?"
A. "No problem. You can put a penalty clause in the contract so if we don't finish, you get the house cheaper."

And so on.
Let me deal with the first one. He employs nobody. The whole job is handed over to sub-contractors. Now this is fine if you use a regular crew that you trust. He didn't. He would employ anyone and everyone; if they could hold a hammer, they were in. If they knew what a hammer looked like, but had never held one, they were in. If they had a distant cousin that had once held a hammer, they were in......You get the picture?

Want to check someone out? Go to the New Zealand Companies Office.
Click on Search the Register and choose Director Search. Pop in the surname of the person and change the drop down to Current and Former Directors. You'll be amazed how many times some people can "resign" from a company just before it goes bankrupt and so avoid going onto the banned directors list......GGGGRRRRRRRRR. That makes me mad. Our pal had three previous companies in liquidation. Oh, by the way, some people use their middle names and first name in any order to avoid detection....make sure you know all the initials....

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