PHOTO: Former All Black TJ Perenara has been left out of pocket more than $40,000 after the pool company he was using went under. (File photo) GETTY IMAGES
A former All Black player finds himself in a financial quandary, losing over $40,000 due to the bankruptcy of a pool company.
Kāpiti Pool Services Limited, Pool and Spas Kāpiti Limited, and West Coast Pools all went into liquidation this month.
TJ Perenara, who is currently part of the Māori All Blacks, along with his wife Greer, were in the midst of constructing their new home and had engaged one of these companies for pool installation. Regrettably, they anticipated forfeiting the substantial sum they had already paid to the company. In a TikTok video, Perenara expressed his frustration, stating, “We are angry and frustrated, but we know times are tough right now.” It’s worth noting that Arron and Julie Pearson owned the first two companies, while Arron Pearson solely owned the last.
$40,000 Could Be Gone!! ????????
The Pearsons had separated since then. An ex-employee revealed, “During my time there, I facilitated sales of $4.2 million worth of spas. The business was highly profitable.” However, problems arose as early as the second week, with the pool pump malfunctioning. Pearson’s lack of responsiveness to calls and his claim that the staff member needed to fix it was ill only added to the frustration.
Furthermore, Pearson declined to provide a cost breakdown, leaving customers like Stephenson in the dark regarding their expenses. Stephenson recounted, “He then forgot to order our pool cover, creating another issue, and to add insult to injury, he tried to charge us $1800 for a permit. When we questioned this, he immediately reduced it to $800. Upon contacting the council, we discovered the actual cost was $343. Armed with this information, we ceased payments.” Stephenson had also contacted the NZ Pool Industry Association, which had not received any previous complaints about the company.
At times, they contemplated walking away from the deal, but the fear of losing their deposit forced them to persevere. Summing up the ordeal, Stephenson said, “All in all, it was an exhausting, stressful, negative experience. I got the feeling that Arron was distracted, overwhelmed, and faced issues throughout the entire year we dealt with him. If he had been upfront about the delays and issues, it would have been much easier for customers like us.”
Another former employee disclosed that he was hired as a branch manager at one of the businesses at the beginning of the year but resigned in July. He alleged that he was asked to manipulate serial numbers on pools and spas the company did not own. He explained, “One particular pool I had sold, he had taken the serial number off and put it on one of the shop models, for reasons unknown to me, but it was still owned by the company, and he wanted me to oversee the installation. That’s when I asked him to make me redundant.” He had sensed from the very beginning that something was amiss with the business, stating, “I was just fielding complaint after complaint.”
As of now, Pearson has not responded to any contact attempts.
Iain Bruce Shephard and Jessica Jane Kellow from BDO have been appointed as liquidators. In the initial liquidation report for Pool and Spas Kāpiti, they noted that historically, the business had been successful and had generated reasonable profits. However, in recent times, the company struggled due to reduced demand for spa pools. It faced cash flow challenges, ultimately becoming unable to meet its supplier obligations.
Before accounting for liquidation costs, Pool and Spas Kāpiti had a total deficit of $384,023 for creditors, while Kāpiti Pool Services had a surplus of $56,818, and West Coast Pools had a deficit of $417,065.