Congratulations to all those who contributed to the Awaroa crowdfunding campaign – you got your wish. I have no intention to question how people spend their money, but I do think that the price paid was too high – both from a conservation and purely financial perspective.
Umm Morgan is the one who said there is no way it will go for $2 million and the crowd funded appeal will fail as it is worth far more than that. Now he says the price of around $2.8 million was too high.
Public access to this strip of land could very easily have been secured for under $500k and ownership is totally unnecessary to achieve that. To do that they not only needed to get the bidding out of the public arena, but also once the site was purchased the beach could have been covenanted and the land resold.
In other word give Morgan $500,000 to buy the land. He may be right that is a cheaper way to do it, but once the campaign had started, there is no way one could change it mid-way.
But as we all know that purchase was not about rational behaviour, it was all about romance, we fell in love with the pretty picture and after that, the madness of crowds took over. There are two faults with allowing hysteria to win the day.
I made a rational decision to donate $50. For $50 I could help deliver it into the public estate.
Last time I heard from them they only had about $1m and they needed a hand up given donations were flagging. My response then was to offer a strategem whereby we could stimulate the rate of donations, get the beach for a price below $2m
Umm, no. You explicitly said it would need more than $2 million.
I’ve been very happy to turn down the offers for help to buy Awaroa, and will be looking to spend my money on things that actually improve conservation.
I don’t think anyone expected Gareth to donate, and of course he should decide what he wants to spend his money on. But the backlash he has received he produced himself. He could have quietly gone to the campaign organisers and proposed what he wanted. They could have accepted or rejected it quietly. He decided to publicly blog his offer/demand and now seems bitter the campaign succeeded.