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

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Dec 2020, 4:37PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

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

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Dec 2020, 4:37PM

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.