Sir Ngatata Love offered to sell Wellington railway station to a would-be casino developer as his partner Lorraine Skiffington sought a $35 million consultancy deal on the same development.
Ms Skiffington offered to provide “strategic project management services . . . to ensure the successful progress of this development”, and also sought a “good faith” payment of $2.5m from Loizos Michaels, who was fronting the development group.
Michaels will face a fraud trial next month, on charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.
Ms Skiffington proposed that, for her role in the development of a “major landmark hotel, convention and entertainment centre” at the railway station, she be paid:
A $4m signing fee.
$7m to secure ownership of the railway station, social hall and adjoining land on Waterloo Quay.
A two-year “operational budget” of $9m, including $1.125m on signing.
$7m to be paid directly to her for the “transfer of intellectual property”.
$8m for securing air rights above the station, including $2m up front.
I’m not going to comment on the legality of this, because the sheer greed and audacity is enough in itself. She wanted $8 million for “air rights” above Wellington Railway Station. I’m surprised she didn’t also ask $10 million for mineral rights beneath the building.
I see Barry Hart got struck off for over-charging his clients by a few thousand. He obviously did not think big enough.