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.