Jobs gone as contracting firm liquidated
About 80 workers will be looking for new jobs this year after a South Waikato company was placed into liquidation.
Tokoroa-based contracting business Phil Rouse Ltd has been in operation for almost 40 years, and founder Phil Rouse says he feels like he has been ‘‘gutted from top to toe’’ by the closure.
According to the first liquidator’s report, the company owes more than $6.8 million to more than 100 other companies, employees and Inland Revenue. Phil Rouse Ltd is owed $2.2m, with Meltzer Mason liquidator Lloyd Hayward confirming that amount was across about five contracts.
Rouse said the company had hit trouble over a $6m contract for work on the Rangiriri section of the New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) Waikato Expressway.
Rouse wouldn’t go into detail but the liquidator report states that ‘‘issues arose with the head contractor’’.
Eventually the head contractor called in Phil Rouse Ltd bonds, which Rouse says added up to $900,000, and cancelled the contract. Rouse said that was the last straw for the company, which had been struggling with cash flow since a major contract at Kinleith was cancelled.
Liquidators were appointed on December 18 and Rouse had the task of telling his 76 staff – 48 full time – just before Christmas.
‘‘It’s been pretty devastating, he said.
‘‘[They are] very, very loyal and dedicated people, and hardworking at that.’’
Administration manager for Elite Business Systems Graeme Richer confirmed that Rouse had contacted creditors in June last year, followed by a letter from Meltzer Mason outlining a debt
‘‘ repayment plan. Richer said he had been dealing with Phil Rouse Ltd since 2007 with no issues.
The liquidation came as a ‘‘surprise’’ he said.
NZTA said Fletcher Construction had advised them Phil Rouse Ltd would be unable to complete the work but the project would finish on time.
A creditor meeting will be held on February 11 at the Rotary Room of Hamilton Gardens at 11am.
For the win: Tokoroa woman Denise Wilkinson won third equal at the Women’s International 10 Ball Championship in New York.