Jobs gone as con­tract­ing firm liq­ui­dated

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By NARELLE HEN­SON

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.

Photo: ALI­SON-CHANG.COM

For the win: Toko­roa woman Denise Wilkin­son won third equal at the Women’s In­ter­na­tional 10 Ball Cham­pi­onship in New York.

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