I once generously offered well-known Wellington property developer Ian Cassels to have him lashed daily with barb-wire, this solely out of kindness. I did that, assuming he’d like it as it’s a constant source of amazement to me why developers pursue such a masochistic activity.

A few years back, following their publication of my new 600 pages language book, “Fighting Talk” I said to the then Random House boss I’d write a book which would sell, explaining why all property developers ultimately go broke. Her response pulled me up with a halt, namely, “but we need them”. And of course she was right, but by God they suffer.

Half a dozen years back Ian looked at the visual disgrace of Shelly Bay, lying on the eastern side of Evans Bay. It’s a disgrace because it’s cluttered with an untidy mismash of old redundant military sheds.

The land was partly owned by the city council and partly by the local Iwi. Both sold to Ian whereupon a typical Wellington wankerish response eventuated.

First came a small group who objected to the proposed construction of 350 varying sized apartments in buildings set in parks and with marina facilities. Their complaint was aesthetic, albeit only indicative sketches had been done. Various court actions were pursued to stop the development, all in vain.

Peter Jackson initially funded some of the anti-factions, again on aesthetic grounds which was a bit rich from someone who’s littered residential Miramar with industrial buildings for his film activities.

Complaints were made that the road would be too congested, albeit being dead easy to widen, and so it went. All very Wellington.

Then a small Taranaki maori faction hit the news saying they’d not been properly consulted by the Iwi. Further legal action was mooted but abandoned after Jackson abruptly withdrew funding for them for reasons not explained but which one could easily guess.

We now have the situation where a bunch of these objecting maoris have parked themselves on the site. They’re trespassing, at the moment pointlessly.

But what happens when Cassels sends in the bulldozers? Will it become another maori sacred site silliness attracting armies of show pony supporters? And if so, as is their obligation, will the Police arrest them, which they certainly would in any parallel non-maori situation?

To condition himself to all of this, Ian would be wise to accept my kind daily barb-wire flogging offer but of course, being a developer, wisdom is by definition, not part of his make-up.


Sadly Sir Bob this is but a very small example on what is becoming the new normal.
Whenever someone has spent years going through the extensive “ consulting “ process with their local council and spending $100’s thousands in doing so there always pops up a rabid Maori faction with their hand out for Koha.
Ardern has given them a free pass as evidenced in Auckland over the Fletcher purchase on an area with an unpronounceable Maori name.
Now we also have a carbon copy at Waiheke Island.
Clearly, our property rights are being lost to a rabid, vociferous and militant Maori minority at supersonic speed.
Ardern et al stand aside with gnashing gums, frowns, hugs, feelz and our money to pay off these blackmailers.
We got royally screwed in AKL so why would these miscreants turn down future opportunities to get paid off with $millions of our hard earned money liberally dolled out by a useless government controlled by their Maori caucus ?

“another Maori sacred site silliness”
We normally, out of respect and humility and on the expectation of reciprocity, allow folk to express and hold their spiritual convictions.
This is something else altogether; the weaponisation of woo woo for the ethno nationalist cause.

I agree but you have to admit that using Kiwibuild funds to pay Fletchers not to build houses during a housing crisis was a response that was as depressingly entertaining as it was breathtaking in its ineptitude by our do-nothing neokindness socialist government.

Nothing brings out cultural concerns like the smell of other people’s money.

What happens when your dumb enough to continue spoiling a spoilt brat ?
Thank you Cindy oh wonderful re-incarnation of virtuosity to all the world. Our great Marxist RESET has begun.

Obviously the cops are gutless and won’t arrest these trespassers. Ardern and Robertson are limp. Welcome to the new NZ where any protesting group of Maoris can walk on to anyone’s land and agitate. The law means nothing.
I hope China takes over and puts these malcontents in their place. I’d rather that than limping along cowering to this mob.

And its no surprise that the usual vociferous surly lot occupying have a very high percentage of those in their cabal of useful idiots already undeservedly sucking on the state tit composed of taxes fleeced from us as a reward for our successful endeavours .If they are so committed why dont they reward and save the afore said Ian from the barbed wire and make him an offer he cant refuse with their own money instead of the guvmint ponying up with ours .I prefer the bulldozer response personally pushing these entitled pricks into the harbour ,a response our frontline police would like to and wont be allowed to do.

Anonymous Developer March 30, 2021 at 7:25 pm

Dear Sir Bob,

By way of introduction, in the talk-back radio sense (which given the calibre of the balance of the commentors to your partially comedic post would indicate is the baseline), I am a long time listener, first time commenter [sic].

I do this in my capacity as a card carrying member of the self-flagellating property developer community, whom in your decrepit yet incisive manner you rather accurately describe as a particuarly simple minded and self destructive breed of physical moron. Valid points, and certainly characterised by the mindless and presumably ego driven activities of your octogenerian peer Ian Cassels Esq.

Like many talk-back radio callers, or facebook commenters , I do not have a substantive or intelligently thought out point to make, other than it is somewhat uncharitable of you to suggest to a specific individual with clearly diminished capacity on account of a combination of their advanced years coupled with a cruel and unusual propensity for self punishment lacks wisdom. Wisdom clearly left the building decades ago, and has been replaced with the echo of self congratulatory sychophantism.

As you describe, every property developer will ultimately go broke – an incisive sound-bite no doubt conceived while you perch imperiously in your estate overlooking the swamp that is Lower Hutt City. However, “ultimately” implies a continuum, one where at one extreme the infinite leverage and opportunity is boundless, and the other where our native harunguing friend occupies. Should you cast your mind back to the deep recesses of time, likely pre-muldoonism you will no doubt recall the thrill and satisfaction the former of such a time-line provided you.

In summary, this game (and it is without doubt one) is not for the old, infirm and weak of mind and in context of the barbed wire whipping you suggest administering, one with old weathered and wrinkle infested skin. Your opinion while valid in a specific sense does not extend to our entire community.

Best Regards,

Anonymous Property Developer

One wonders why the iwi sold out so cheaply to Cassels in the first place? With Love gone, we may never know, as the spiders web (tax havens) hold may secrets.

As for the Council sale, we can expect more of the same; and increased rates to facilitate even more incompetence and crony capitalism. The sooner local authorities are bankrupted the better, as they dont represent democracy anymore; perhaps never did.

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