█ Hotel Memorandum of Understanding (PDF, 297 KB)
Comment received from Rob Hamlin
Submitted on 2014/03/11 at 10:54 am
Perhaps the most unfortunate thing about this is the precedent that it sets. The MOU essentially commits the Council to make it happen by whatever means and by whatever council costs are necessary. The ludicrous conflict of interest that this sets up between the Council as developer regulator and Council as developer agent is breezily dismissed early on. If the DCC fails to deliver what the developer wants, then they (we) get to pay all the developer’s costs too. Thereby setting up a situation with considerable motive for the developer to increase the toxicity of this regulatory ‘poison pill’ by inflating these costs a la Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust.
There is nothing in this document that indicates why it is a special case or anything that defines it as a ‘one off’. This means that the next time a large developer wants to carve up rural zoned land on the Taieri or build an exclusive shooting resort next to the Albatross Colony all they have to do is download the .pdf of this MOU from McPravda’s website, replace Jing Song’s name with their own and present it to Cull and Bidrose with a request to ‘please sign this forthwith’. I can see no legal grounds on the basis of equity of treatment of development proposals by the territorial authority upon which Cull and Bidrose could reasonably refuse to do so. Refusal would therefore promptly lead to court action.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr