Mike's Minute: Ihumātao still haunting the government

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 2 Dec 2020, 11:27AM

Mike's Minute: Ihumātao still haunting the government

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 2 Dec 2020, 11:27AM

It really is a stellar array of festive treats, isn't it?

Well worth turning out on that middle Saturday of October to give the Labour Party three more glorious years to micro-manage their way out of this global pandemic. So happy were we with the crash and burn, lock the door, throw away the key approach they had adopted up until that point.  

And yet coming up two months post the vote, what do we have? A climate emergency, doubling of sick leave, and now the revelation that one of their finer cock ups in their first term, Ihumatao, is proving astonishingly expensive, as well as inept.

They have forked out, so far, $150,000 of our money, money we don’t have, on that well known Wellington political accoutrement, the consultant. They have come in at a tasty $325 an hour for all that sage advice.

I will forgive at least some of the bill, if one or more of the consultants, for $325 an hour, told the government they were off their head ever getting involved in this in the first place. And that's been a monumental waste of time, energy, and other people's money to appease a bunch of disaffected whiners. Many of whom, let it not be forgotten, were associated with the original larger group that sold the land in the first place.

If a consultant had the balls to say that, I'll personally pay their bill.

By the way, Shelly Bay has the same stench about it. And the problem with Ihumatao is precedent. When they settle this with more of our money, and they will, they will have gone down a very dangerous rabbit hole.

And they will give the green light to all and sundry to go park themselves on a chunk of land they fancy, make a few bizarre claims, and stand by for the state to roll in with a cheque book.

The overarching tragedy of all this, is the fact if it wasn’t for Jacinda Ardern and her pre Kiribati, or whatever pacific sojourn burst of emotive clap trap she let rip with before she naffed off for a week, this would never have happened.

And because it happened, not only are we paying for it, for people like Fletcher's they’ve been the meat in the whole hopeless Sandwich, waiting for the political wheels to turn as the government looks to extract itself out of a fight, they never needed to be a part of.

The precedent will be a disaster. The money will be ours, the reputation of the government will be battered, and not a house will be built.

The only winners will be the stirrers, and some clipboarders who charge too much by the hour. Brilliant.

And watch then roll this out as close to Christmas possible. So, by January, post BBQ, all will be forgotten.