Thursday 26 February 2015


Ok, so the Resource Management Act isn't supposed to have anything to do with blocking competition, and the Overseas Investment Act is only stopping bad stuff, right?

Somebody explain this mess in Glenorchy then.

If I'm reading the story correctly:

  • Americans resident in Glenorchy bought a general store and campground;
  • They got resource consent for some landscaping, have filed a resource consent for other rejuvenation, and ran a landswap with Council to get a right-of-way to the facility;
  • The Glenorchy Community Association withdrew support for it all when its Secretary, who runs a business in competition with the proposed campground, got mad about the process, and this somehow matters for Glenorchy Council;
  • Now they're having to get retrospective consent from the Overseas Investment Office because somehow it's a matter of national strategic importance whether an American owns a campground in Glenorchy;
  • They're now running the whole thing through a notified consent process because everybody got mad; campground competitors will then get their chance to claim that it'll hurt the town's amenity value or be bad for traffic.
Does this sound like something that should happen in the Outside of the Asylum?


  1. Definite asylum stuff. Plus the bit I read was quoting some yokel about 'billionaires' altering the balance of power. So a billionaire is going to move to NZ to open a campground and fruit and vege corner store.

    I don't reckon so.

  2. Oh Dear. Even by Twitter standards, Mallard's plumbs the depths.

  3. Don't think you've proved your case, though. The OIA hasn't prevented the Americans from buying land and doing good things with it; their application hasn't been declined, and there's no reason to think it will be. Certainly business competitors can try to use the RMA to make life difficult for their rivals, but the RMA does not oblige Councils to side with them and the article seems to suggest they won't do so. The fact that some people abuse their rights in ways not intended by the legislators doesn't mean nobody should have such rights

  4. Means that the courts ought start deeming a lot of this stuff to be vexatious and award costs. Or that we empower ComCom to go after de facto anticompetitive use of other reg structures.