Wellington builder Kiel Rangi skips out on job after allegedly making $70k botch-up

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Kiel Rangi allegedly built a house so badly that it took four months to repair the damage. Photo / Stock image

A builder allegedly constructed a house so poorly it took longer to repair his $70,000 worth of mistakes than it should have done to build it properly in the first place.

Kiel Rangi didn’t attend a Building Practitioners Board hearing into his conduct yesterday where the developer who subcontracted him to build a property on the Kāpiti Coast said he’d skipped out on the job.

The builder she hired to come in and finish the work ended up having to completely strip off all the weatherboards, straighten all of the walls and remove 90 per cent of the cavity battens.


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“It took us more time fixing the job than the whole job should have taken from start to completion,” the replacement builder, Harry Draper, said in an email to the developer, who was granted name suppression by the board.

“This was a very simple house to construct and in my professional opinion the work completed prior to us arriving was not anywhere near good enough.”

Draper said all the walls were “terribly out of plumb” by a minimum of 15 millimetres over 2.4 metres. Most were worse than that, he said.

Rangi told NZME he was unable to attend yesterday’s hearing but would be going to a follow-up hearing the board is yet to schedule to give him another chance to respond to the allegations against him.


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The developer, however, appeared at the Wellington hearing and gave evidence that her company had hired Rangi to build the property last year.

However, towards the end of the build she said Rangi stopped work and ceased communicating with her other than saying he lacked the staff and resources to finish the project.

She provided evidence to the board of seven pages worth of texts, calls and emails in which she’d tried to make contact with him.

“He would not return phone calls, emails, texts …he just sort of put his hands up and walked away,” she said.

“I did not want to get to this point at all.”

The woman said four months’ worth of remediation had been needed to bring the house up to code and standard, which cost $70,000 in labour and materials.

However, she said Rangi’s mistakes likely cost their company a contract to build another 30 houses in the same development.

“We’ve lost a massive client there. There was another 30 clients there who are unlikely to go with us again,” she said.

“The reason I’m doing this is because there was no accountability, there was no communication and I don’t want ‘90-year-old Doris’ building a house and [being] left in this position,” she said.

“I just don’t want it to happen to anyone else. The stress this has caused us … ”


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Jeremy Wilkinson is an Open Justice reporter based in Manawatū covering courts and justice issues with an interest in tribunals. He has been a journalist for nearly a decade and has worked for NZME since 2022.

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