After being made redundant from a motor spare parts company she worked for in Melbourne, Australia, for 35 years in 2017, she planned to pack her belongings and return home to Rarotonga.
With the money she saved, the 59-year-old decided to build a house in Matavera and spend the rest of her retirement in peace.
But little did she know, her dream venture would soon turn into a nightmare.
Before leaving Melbourne in 2017, Pera met Teariki Tuake, brother of the controversial owner of Global Fibre8 Limited Tangi Tuake, who is facing multiple charges over its K3T wall panel system in Auckland court.
Teariki sold her the K3T wall panel system and promised the shipment would arrive in Rarotonga soon.
Pera paid a little over $23,000 in May, 2017 and headed for Rarotonga, anxiously waiting for the materials while planning the rest of the house.
Two years on, Pera is still waiting.
“I really don’t like this guy. He was good at advertising the product and I saw it myself, it looked good. I was getting a good deal for the amount of money I was spending. I didn’t realise he was going to rip me off,” Pera said.
“I emailed him several times but didn’t get any reply. I bumped into him in a health clinic in New Zealand. He didn’t realised I was there, he was the patient before me. I asked him what was going on and he said the wall will be coming soon.”
By now Pera was starting to get worried because she had spent about an extra $27,000 on the rest of her house plan which was centered on the walls.
“I had the roof and the windows cut according to the house plan which was based on the walls I bought from Teariki. I kept emailing but heard nothing from him.
“I went to Australia for a visit and on my way back, I stopped in New Zealand and went to the (Global Fibre8 Limited) factory but Teariki wasn’t there. That’s when I learnt I was not the only one, there were others like me who have paid the money and were still waiting for the wall.”
Pera said she then tried to get a refund but has “not received a single cent”.
“I worked for 35 long years, I saved up the money so I can have a secured future. But now that’s all gone,” she said.
“I’m living at a family house at the moment and working at the airport just to pay my way through. I’m saving up again … the money is not that much here but I try and do whatever I can.
“I leave it to the Lord, He is the only one I have. I have put this to Lord and move on peacefully. Unfortunately this is part of my life, and unlucky for me. I just don’t want others like me, especially young families, to go through this.”
Pera considered taking legal action but after learning there were others owed even bigger amounts, she dropped the idea.
Established in 2011, Global Fibre8 Limited is run by members of the Tuake family, including Tangi and his son Albert, who are of Cook Islands descent. The business has bases in Australia and the Cook Islands and other countries.
In 2014, the company began selling the K3T wall system, manufactured in China. They advertised the product as being innovative, strong, and cheaper than anything else on the market.
Global Fibre8 sold the rights to distribute the product to retailers around the world, including a number of people in the Cook Islands. Cook Islands News believes multiple investors from the Cook Islands have spent up to $50,000 for the rights to become supply agents.
Earlier this week, New Zealand’s Commerce Commission laid eight charges against Global Fibre8 and Tangi over the K3T wall panels after independent report alleges the wall system is not fit for purpose and does not meet the building code on a number of levels.
And Pera hopes she would get some justice from this.