Deadline sale for project manager’s million-dollar family home as tradies still owed thousands

This property on Chevron Pl, Ilam, has been put up for sale after its owners Marc Findlay and...
This property on Chevron Pl, Ilam, has been put up for sale after its owners Marc Findlay and Deborah Jane Robinson-Findlay were placed into receivership. Photo: Supplied
A failed building project manager’s million-dollar Ilam property has been put on the block by receivers as tradespeople are still owed thousands from a previous bankruptcy.

Marc Findlay and Deborah Jane Robinson-Findlay in 2017. Photo: Supplied
Marc Findlay and Deborah Jane Robinson-Findlay in 2017. Photo: Supplied
The five-double bedroom, three-bathroom property on Chevron Pl occupied by Marc Findlay and Deborah Jane Robinson-Findlay is to be sold by deadline sale on Tuesday.

It had a rateable value of $1.18 million in August 2022.

The property is among collateral supplied by the couple to receivers Waterstone Insolvency, which is acting on behalf of Auckland-based business finance lender Ignite Solutions Ltd.

Marc Findlay and Deborah Jane Robinson-Findlay were jointly placed into receivership on December 1 last year.

Peter Drennan from Waterstone Insolvency said although Ignite Solutions Ltd was the sole appointer for the receiverships, it was aware of a number of other claims.

“It’s not appropriate for us to comment on totals or numbers at this stage,” he said, adding not all creditors have claims against both individuals.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s Insolvency and Trustee Service confirmed Findlay was previously adjudicated bankrupt on December 14, 2017, and discharged on January 30, 2021. This followed the liquidation of his project management firm, Project 1 Design, in July that year.

Christchurch plumber Darren Maher was caught up in the collapse of Project 1 Design, and says he is still owed $65,000 for unpaid work carried out at an apartment complex on Manchester St in March 2017.

He is investigating whether he can make a claim on proceeds from the house sale.

“I’m speaking to my legal team. It’s still a possibility,” he said. 

Maher was among unsecured creditors owed $611,333.20, according to a liquidators’ report dated February 2018.

“I was one of the ones who bankrupted him. I’ve been to the police, it’s just complete and utter burglary. He done me out of $65,000 plus GST in a week.”

He said the work at six apartments on Manchester St was completed on April 3, 2017, and three days later Findlay had told him via a text message a payment had been made, but it did not appear in Gillon & Maher Plumbing Ltd’s bank account.

On April 17, 2017, Maher told police he received an email from Findlay saying that he (Findlay) had not been paid “and for that he was forced to take action”.

Plumber Darren Maher said he was $65,000 out of pocket after not been paid for work done at this...
Plumber Darren Maher said he was $65,000 out of pocket after not been paid for work done at this apartment complex on Manchester St. Photo: Supplied
Concerned he would not get paid, Maher planned to return to the apartments and remove the fixtures and fittings but this was not possible as the site was handed back to the developers on April 12, 2017.

“He sets up a company as a project manager, gets everyone in to do the work, gets paid and then pockets the money. That’s the way he works,” Maher said.

Former signwriter Glenn Lily said he was owed $25,000, an amount he eventually wrote off.

“Long story short, he just didn’t pay,” he said.

When contacted by The Star, Findlay was surprised to be reminded of the 2017 bankruptcy.

“If someone’s contacted you I’m assuming they’re trying to defame me, embarrass me or cause some trigger effect of not getting paid or something. This could not be further from the truth,” he said.

“When I was made bankrupt I worked through that and followed the letter of the law.”

Findlay, who described himself as a sole trading individual project manager, said he had not worked for six months, a factor leading to the family home being sold.

“This is a sensitive situation for us, we’re losing our family home. The house is owned by my wife so I’m not about to get a million dollars. We’re getting nothing.”

The property listing said the home underwent a full rewire and extension, along with a new roof in 2022.

Promoted as ‘redefining contemporary family living’ within highly coveted school zones, the property also features private bespoke gardens, two lounge spaces plus a single bedroom/office and a yet to be completed and carpeted internal access double garage.

The outdoor space is equipped with steps leading to Waimairi stream and features a heated saltwater swimming pool and spa.


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