Friday, 11 July 2008

Five Miles too far?

When I heard news that Dave Henderson's Five Mile development in Queenstown was having trouble with its financiers, I must confess the effect on the development's cash-flow of five years of planning hearings to get permission did cross my mind -- five years of hearings that have already cost the development up to $35 million, not to mention the holding costs -- hearings for permissions that have still not been granted.

Put that sort of delay in your cash flow, and see if you can smoke it.

Remember, all he's after is permission to build on his own land. That shouldn't be a problem, you'd think, except that under the RMA every Tom, Dick and business competitor gets to object and drag things out -- and when you're proposing a whole new town centre, that's a lot of disgruntled business competitors feeling objectionable about their coercive monopolies being removed that need to be placated.

As long as those permissions have been withheld, there's been no chance of income to keep the cash flow flowing. Death by a thousand delays.

I thought too of Ayn Rand's observation that "when the productive have to ask permission from the unproductive in order to produce, then you may know your culture is doomed." Who, ever, speaks out for the productive? Who, ever, speaks out in support of what productive people are trying to produce? Hardly at all, not in this culture. Too many snivelling mediocrities who like to see tall poppies trampled, and too many vultures who see no value in human production, or human fecundity. Too many who care nothing about what the unholy process does to the producers, and that which they're trying to produce.

That said, and whatever the circling headlines, I feel sure that Dave isn't a man who gives up his dreams easily. Anyone already writing up headlines writing him off would do well to examine the now well-known record of his tenacity. One or two of those miles will be difficult, but Five Mile is unlikely to be a mile too many.


  1. Very sorry to hear of Mr Henderson's is an awful shame and I do hope it is a temporary blip and things can be back on track soon enough.

  2. On the news last night they had a sound bite from the ex-mayor of Queenstown who said 5 Mile was just a fantasy (or something like that). He looked like the most sour, mean spirited man I have ever seen. No wonder consent has taken so long with evil scum like that around.

  3. Heard them report on the radio this morning that the immediate reason for Mr Henderson's trouble with the development is that the finance company which had undertaken to finance the development up and sold the loan at a depp discount to another outfit. Seems Hannover is feeling the pinch and getting desperate for fast cash. Stay tuned.

  4. Henderson has let foreign banks over 100 million out of pocket in the past. They are not going to let it happen again.

    RMA is no doubt partly to blame for his woes, but there are other things at work here. The line between heroic entrepreneur and wide-boy is very slim. Much as you would like to think otherwise.

  5. The world is a better place through people such as Dave Henderson. Hope he pulls through.

    No help from Nick Smith, or National. Something that can't be repeated often enough.

  6. Anon

    Sounds like you're jealous of the man.

    So, what have you accomplished in your life exactly?



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