Opinion: Morgan gets Givealittle to back his new holiday destination

  • 09/02/2016
Opinion: Morgan gets Givealittle to back his new holiday destination

By Perlina Lau

Unless you've been living under a rock, you would have heard about the Givealittle campaign to buy Awaroa Beach in the Abel Tasman National Park.

It's perhaps the best and only chance for any New Zealander under the age of 40 to own a piece of real estate.

For $2 million – the price of a "handyman's dream" in Ponsonby, it could be ours to enjoy. This is about using people power and Kiwis backing a campaign to win back a piece of paradise.

There are only five days to go, with $1.4 million pledged so far by 22,000 backers.

Not only would everyone in New Zealand be allowed access to the beach, but buying it would also restore it back to the Queens Chain.

Sounds like a plan!

Cue Gareth Morgan.

He's said he will pay the difference between the crowd-funded amount and the tender offer of $2 million. So he'll pay approximately $600,000, but there's a price.

He will use the property for his own private benefit, just as the current owner does, and he will give the property to the Department of Conservation (DOC) once his family has "finished enjoying it".

Dr Morgan seems to have entirely missed the point of this campaign. What he is proposing is the complete opposite to the goal dreamed up by a couple of brothers-in-law.

"Together we can buy it and gift it to NZ" is the headline of the campaign. It's supposed to be a collective effort by Kiwis, not privately owned and certainly not for one person to "pay 30 percent of the price and receive 100 percent ownership", as one comment read.

And for those who have backed the cause so far, they certainly didn't donate with the knowledge the remaining $600,000 would be coming from a multimillionaire.

Or is it possible we're all being punk'd by Dr Morgan, that ole cat-hating, motorbike-loving former owner of Trade Me.

Has he proposed what some think is an outrageous idea to draw more attention to the sale and everyone scrambles to pledge before he can get his hands on it?

Perhaps he secretly does want it to be owned by the public of New Zealand and he's using reverse psychology on all of us?

Who knows, but the last word should go to the guy who commented on Dr Morgan's blog: "If you want to buy it for private use then pay for the lot. Otherwise let the whole section become publicly owned and turned into a sanctuary for cats."