Beach negotiations going 'down to the wire'

Beach negotiations going 'down to the wire'

One of the men behind a Givealittle fund set up to save a South Island beach says negotiations are "going down to the wire".

The result of the tender process is delayed and now not expected until tomorrow, with fund instigator Duane Major putting the odds of the bid winning at 50/50.

"The anticipation keeps growing," he told the Paul Henry programme this morning.

"There are negotiations happening, emails flying, phone calls being made, things scrambling together. We want to be able to put our best foot forward."

The results had been expected to be known tonight, but the announcement is now on hold thanks to ongoing discussions with the vendor and "a few hurdles to get over".

Mr Major helped set up the crowdfunding page in the hope of ensuring Awaroa beach, in the Abel Tasman National Park, would remain public land.

Earlier this month the fundraisers reached their goal of $2 million, but it is not yet known if that will be enough to buy the beach.

The Government has said it may step in to top up the bid if needed, though would not confirm how much it was prepared to give.

"The Government has been contemplating their modest contribution but at this point we are looking at what we can do," says Mr Major. "If we're say $25,000 or $50,000 behind someone else and the vendor is going to do what's in their best interests, it would be nice to be able to have no strings, [for] someone to come along and just help us across the line. If that happens it's just awesome, if it doesn't we can only do what we do, we can only put in what we've got.

"I think how the Government plays their hand is how the Government plays their hand and if we lose today it won't be because of them, it's just one of those things we've got to learn a lesson from a come back next time realising we've got a lot of power as people to pull some stuff off like this."

It is not known how much more than the $2 million goal the Givealittle page raised, though Mr Major says he believes they have a real chance of winning the bid.

"I think it's going to be really close and the fact we're here on day five - we're still in the running - says that we've got a credible bid...I think it will be really tight. If we miss out I don't think it will be by much."