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Air BnB, and Hoppers 

One of the really fascinating aspects of Leach’s mayoralty has been the continuing and close relationship with Leigh Hopper – the surviving patriarch of the Hopper dynasty. Of course, such relationships are by no means a novelty – witness  the abiding and extremely secret relationship with previous mayors, including famously that with Chris Lux that led eventually to the continuing debacle that constitutes the Mercury Bay Sports Complex.

Hoppers’ interests have always been aligned with TCDC interests, and their developments at Pauanui and Whitianga have always been accompanied by extraordinary concessions on the part of Council in order to ensure ‘mutual’ benefit – often it seems, one sided.

Hopper’s departure from the Economic Development Committee to which he had been appointed by Leach was puzzling at the time, but indicative to many of a realisation of just how deeply conflicted he was in attending to the business of that Committee.

What has long been in the background has been his stated desire to establish a hotel complex, along with retirement village and various other projects at the Waterways, and he may well have felt inhibited to a degree, especially when this blog drew attention to his conflict on several occasions.

Whatever the case, it is clear to anyone who has followed the issue during Leach’s terms that he (Leach) has an abiding dislike of all form of accommodation arrangements that may dissuade would-be investors from Hopper’s potential Waterway’s developments. The advent of the Air BnB threat outlined in the notes from ‘The Other Players’ post of 2 February once again draws attention to alternative accommodation that may well deter hotel development.

This would not suit Hopper’s future plans, or those evidently of Leach. Strenuous attempts are therefore likely to be made to ensure contributions to Council coffers from anyone offering alternative accommodation arrangements, much of which may well fall into the luxurious category.  The economics of a luxury hotel at Whitianga in those circumstances must be decidedly shaky.

Many will decry such speculation as tenuous, but I am sufficiently cynical as regards the  manner in business has been done around this Peninsula for a very long time to find the suggestion totally credible, and suggest that ‘time will tell.’

Alternative viewpoints are welcome!




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Reader Comments (1)

If you need another example of the the political elite being self serving you might want to LGOIMA about a proposed plan change for land use designation for a certain Matatoki Quarry? Or is this so expected that it no longer shocks?

February 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

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