Tuesday, 3 March 2009


At the heart of the Ngai Tahu woes is a disagreement over the building of the " House of Tahu. " a $52 million dollar concrete monument to bloated egos.

Now when we heard that this was the issue we thought well if the financials stack up then why not?
We thought that Ngai Tahu must be confident that they were going to make lots of money from their commercial enterprises.

Nope wrong. You see the House is being built on the basis that the tribe is going to get more money from the Government as the original settlement included a relativity clause. Which means that if another tribe gets more than Ngai Tahu did then Ngai Tahu gets a top up. Ten points to the negotiators for organising that one. They were cunninger than cunning things and thats bloody cunning, even for Maoris.

So, the House of Tahu is being built with money from the government, not money that they have earned, but money they have been given.

But here is the kicker. It will house all of the people Ngai Tahu employ. Well, I said when told this stunningly interesting snippet, thats a lot of people I didn't think that the tribe employed that many .

Now it really does get worse.

Ngai Tahu has estimated that because of the extra money they will get they will increase the staffing levels by 33%.

Yip - that's the financial logic model that they have employed.

So it goes something like this - When you get more money you build a big house because when you have more money you have to employ more people.

We thought it was get more money, invest it in things that make more money, and disburse the benefits to the people in the way of business and education and cultural grants.

But no - it is to build a house on sand.


PaulL said...

So, we are paying for recurrent expenditure from a one off grant from government?

The only way this stacks up is if someone shows that if the building was emptied, it could be rented at a profit. If it can't be rented at a profit, then it shouldn't be built.

It is usually better to separate the landlord from the occupier - when you build for yourself you tend to stick in all the little bells and whistles that have no economic justification, but fritter away a lot of money. That is my prediction for what will go on with this place.

Anonymous said...

BB Good pic. You may be mixing two issues 1. The relativity clause in the NT settlement 2. The House of Tahu. The are mutually exclusive. Will be writng up my take on the House of Tahu issue in the next day or so on my site
Richard Parata

Sandy said...

BB you have a good take on the issue with HOT.

Pratt you need to take a lead out of BB book and get ya facts right.