Friday, December 18, 2020

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Fletcher must front up over Ihumātao deal


I think we need to bring Fletcher into this covers nation about Ihumātao.

Despite their role in this, they’ve been near invisible in it, and I don’t think they should be.

Most of the public anger has quite rightly been directed at the government over this deal 

They’ve wasted $30 million of taxpayer money on something the Prime Minister should never have involved herself in.

They’ve potentially undermined private property rights by essentially forcing a land sale through their involvement.

But what about Fletcher? What’s their role in this?

Because, from where I’m sitting, they are complicit in the undermining of private property rights.

They appear to have quite happily taken taxpayer money to get themselves out of a purchase-gone-bad, and have at no point taken public issue with this. 

I feel quite comfortable saying they’ve done this quite happily because I see no evidence to the contrary. Where has their criticism of this been over the past 17 months? 

Instead today they thank the government for the ‘pragmatic way’ this has been approached.  

Really? They’ve just taken a massive haircut on a land sale forced to happen, and they’re grateful? 

I mean this land was rated at $36million three years ago and they just sold it for less than that. 

Fletcher didn’t have to be so complicit with the government.

Public opinion is against this deal. You know that’s the case because the announcement was left to the last minute before Christmas which is the old trick with bad news 

And until after the Prime Minister had given her last media conference for the year, so she doesn’t have to face questions over this. 

If the predictions prove to be true, that this has set a precedent and a whole bunch of other aggrieved iwi squat on disputed private property – like this, and like in Wellington’s Shelly Bay – then developers have good reason to be cross at not just Jacinda Ardern’s government, but Fletcher as well.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.


Ross said...

Heather, I do not think Fletchers took a haircut. They bought it for less than they sold it for, so no loss. Yes the current valuation for a piece of land like that might be higher but in reality it's value was very little given it was under dispute. That is, no one would have touched it with a barge pole so it's real market value would have been well south of $30 million.

Peter Bacos said...

9/11 was described by a UK political adviser in an email on the day as, " a good day to bury bad news." The Christmas Recess is another one. Perhaps the government have a copy of the playbook of this spin doctor or maybe they and their advisers are just as duplicitous.

Ray S said...

The probable squatting on private land will lead to massive problems with talk of racism being front and foremost. The government has stuffed up big time over Ihumatao and there is no easy way to fix it.

Russell said...

Fletchers do a lot of business with Govt .. I imagine there will be a quid pro quo along the way somewhere.. Just watch the news for a bit of work slipped their way in the new year.