Taupo Times : May 24th 2013
Audited net circulation 21,045 copies *ABC (December 2012) www.taupotimes.co.nz Phone: (07) 378 9060 FRIDAY MAY 24, 2013 L LL P 8 2 08 02 491 0 14 Hunting and Fishing Specialists Phone 378 4449 Cnr Gascoigne & Paora Hapi Streets T25012/MW 07 378 3529 Homes, Garages, Farm Buildings 2665517AB INSIDE CHALLENGE Hearty breakfast the reward for students' healthy endeavour 3 TOP SPOT Taupo entrepreneurs in winning startup competition team 5 INSPIRATION Queen's Birthday Art Trail offers a variety of art works 39 Family on the run BUSINESS AS USUAL: The Coffee Club remains open despite the franchise holder fleeing. DISGRUNTLED: Paper Plus owner Graham Dennis is unimpressed. Photos: EVIE MARINKOVICH Residents out thousands By IRIS RIDDELL A BUSINESSMAN has fled Taupo owing tens of thousands of dollars to several local businesses, who are in a state of uproar. Nigel Butcher and wife Elaine were warmly welcomed to the busi- ness community in October with the arrival of the Coffee Club franchise. But just seven months later the family has disappeared in a puff of smoke leaving locals thousands of dollars out of pocket. Huka Honda co-owner Kylie Clarke said the Butchers started off as good clients, purchasing quad bikes, a generator, a trailer, and financing vehicles with them. Then we heard through the rumour mill that they were going to leave town. We managed to get back our quads and the generator, but when we turned up last Thurs- day to pick up the trailer he had disappeared. She reported the trailer, worth about $7000, as stolen with Taupo Police, as Mr Butcher has ceased payments. After making some inquiries, Mrs Clarke said she discovered the Butchers were wanted in Australia on several charges, including theft, fraud and wilful damage to prop- erty totaling $32,000. The family house on Ramsay Dr is now back on the market and attempts by the Taupo Times to reach Mr Butcher s mobile phone were met with a message saying the phone had been temporarily disconnected. Mrs Clarke said no one in Taupo has any idea where they are but she suspects they are in the South Island. Paper Plus Taupo owner Gra- ham Dennis said he is owed about $1200 in stationery, $700 of which was for back-to-school equipment for the couple s 12 children. I personally delivered that to his business and his home. The sad part is as a community we rallied around him and we ve all been duped. Mr Dennis and Vege Patch owner Kevin Coxhead -- who is also owed money -- visited Mr Butcher last week to voice their concerns face-to-face. He told us there was someone wanting to buy the business and once that had gone through he would pay us, Mr Coxhead said. Through discussions with his lawyer later on, we found out there was no buyer, so he lied to our faces. More FM Taupo general man- ager Penny Lyons said Mr Butcher was an advertising client and had stopped paying for his advertise- ments in the last month, claiming a staff member had been stealing from the till so he could not make payments -- which he also told Mr Coxhead. I think that s highly unlikely in the wake of all that s happened, said Mr Coxhead. Coffee Club director and market- ing manager Andy Lucas said head office has temporarily taken over the branch. We received an email from him [Mr Butcher] on the last day of the school holidays saying as of tomor- row, he wouldn t be running the business. I rang the store straight away and the staff member I spoke to said he d told them not to come in, they don t have jobs any more. So our first thought was to keep the store open because otherwise there would be about 12 people out of a job. Mr Lucas said a few days after Mr Butcher s email, they dis- covered he had been trying to sell Coffee Club equipment such as cof- fee machines on Trade Me. There were a lot of things he didn t own that he was trying to sell, so we tried to put a stop to that before he sold them and rung local suppliers he d leased off to give them a heads-up. He said Coffee Club was unaware of the money owing to local businesses until very recently and they are looking for solutions to resolve the matter. It s really unfortunate because it s affected team members in the store and local businesses and that s not what we wanted.
May 21st 2013