Gareth Morgan: 'Before you reject my beach offer...'

Awaroa Inlet in the Abel Tasman National Park
Awaroa Inlet in the Abel Tasman National Park

Gareth Morgan says people shouldn't write off his offer to top up the amount needed to buy an Abel Tasman beach.

Mr Morgan addresses the people who have been upset about the conditions of his offer to buy the property, make use of the buildings and retain public access to the beach.

After a certain date he would gift the land to the Department of Conservation (DOC).

His offer created controversy with some saying it was a way to subsidise his bach and it defeated the purpose of the Givealittle campaign that had been set up for Kiwis to buy a piece of the beach themselves.


Morgan makes offer for Abel Tasman beach

Can people power save a slice of paradise?

However, the businessman says there are always strings attached, even in donation deals.

"Every philanthropist has a limited amount of money to give and they want to see the best return for that money," he says.

"Let's be honest here, the conservation gains on this strip of beach are miniscule."

DOC has said it doesn't have the funds to buy the beach.

So what's in it for him if he isn't investing in the seven-hectare, 800m beach front property for conservation?

"To be honest, I don't really want this piece of land at all. I've already got quite a nice bach," he says.

"But like most New Zealanders I am not enamoured by the thought of Kiwis being excluded from this beach. It just doesn't seem to be our way and feels wrong."

The third point Mr Morgan raises in his latest blog post, is why he is not letting the little guy win.

The property was sold, without the attention, for $2 million eight years ago. The sale is an open tender and there has been significant interest from buyers, he says.

"There is an airstrip nearby,  you are competing with people that can fly in by plane or helicopter, the financial elite.

"Also bear in mind that your competitors in this tender know how much you are about to bid  so all they have to do is bid $1 more to beat you easy peasy."

He estimates the beach could sell for as high as $3 million.

Tenders close for the property on Tuesday. The Givealittle campaign has raised over $1.8 million from nearly 30,000 donors.