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An Avoidable Botch-Up

Media Release

14 July 2008

An Avoidable Botch-Up

The Crown agency handling the sale of the former Napier Hospital site has some serious questions to answer about why the deal was botched up, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

Mr Peters says that when the agency agreed to the purchase by Napier Heights Holdings (NHH) for a reported $20 million it did so in mysterious circumstances. The sale was to be by tender and at the time there were six interested parties but 24 hours before the close of the tender, the other parties were notified that NHH were successful.

“Given that the agency had a valuation of well below NHH’s tender, it should have smelt a rat and investigated whether the buyer was able to complete the purchase and not merely speculate with taxpayers assets.

“Settlement was to occur by mid-April. An extension to last Friday also failed to see a settlement.

“The real point is that the agency never had a sound buyer and the other five potential tenderers who saw the value as between ten and twelve million dollars, in line with the agency’s valuation at the time, have all now gone elsewhere.

“On the current market the property is worth far less than it was when the NHH deal was signed-probably close to a maximum of eight million dollars.

“This agency needs to explain the botch-up, including why it misadvised its Minister when I asked him questions in Parliament over the sales process,” said Mr Peters.


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