BNZ chases owner of crowdfunding beach

  • 12/02/2016

The owner of an Abel Tasman beach that's been the target of a crowdfunding campaign is being pursued by a bank for millions in allegedly unpaid debts and is headed to court.

More than 31,000 people had pledged to donate a total of $1.9 million to buy the seven-hectare Awaroa Inlet property, which has 800m of beachfront, by this morning.

The Givealittle campaign has three more days to reach its target of $2m.

But the person selling the beach, developer Michael Spackman, and business partner Michael Garnham are tied up in a $6.2 million legal battle with the Bank of New Zealand over alleged unpaid loans.

The bank will today ask the High Court in Wellington to order a mortgagee sale of a property in the Wellington suburb of Seatoun to repay the claimed debts going back to 2014.

The men say they believe they were misled and they only had to pay back the interest of a loan with the bank, Radio New Zealand reports.

Mr Spackman bought the beach in 2008 for $1.92m.

Crowdfunding organiser Duane Major told the Paul Henry Show the real estate agent had sent out 150 tender packages to people interested in the property.

He said the public funding campaign process was up against a private sector sale process and this was a "strange interface".

He said the public campaign can go above $2m.

"It is precarious but what can we do about," he said.