Campaigners not paying much mind to Morgan's latest claims
The campaigners behind the bid to buy the Abel Tasman beach aren't paying much attention to Gareth Morgan's latest claims.
Morgan claims he manipulated the Abel Tasman buy the beach campaign to help push up donations so he would not have to put in as much money to help New Zealand get its bid for the beach over the line.
"We're not reading into it too much," Duane Major said.
The campaign to buy the seven hectare property, which includes 800m of pristine shoreline, closed on Monday at 3pm.
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* Gareth Morgan critical of crowd-sourced Abel Tasman beach campaign
* Gareth Morgan clarifies his Abel Tasman beach offer
* Time running out on Abel Tasman beach campaign
* A short history of New Zealand's mission to buy a beach
In the end, almost 40,000 donors pledged more than $2 million to help buy the beach in the Awaroa Inlet with the plan to turn the land over to the public for everyone to enjoy.
Tenders on the property close on Tuesday at 4pm.
Major said he was confident the team of lawyers and property experts working on the tender would "land the plane".
While they were hoping no one else put in a bid on the property now they had seen what it meant to New Zealand, there was a chance further negotiations may be needed to secure the property, he said.
The campaign would consider accepting help from corporate donors, businesspeople or the Government, as long as it was in the spirit of the campaign.
"People first, principles second, pragmatism third."
Major remained hesitant to accept Morgan's strings-attached offer.
Last week, when donations were sitting at about $1.4m, Morgan made an offer to make up the difference between what the campaign raised and the final sale price of the property.
However, his offer was met with backlash from the public and the men running the campaign - Duane Major and Adam Gard'ner - said "thanks but no thanks".
The resistance to Morgan's offer came about due to the the conditions he imposed.
While the public could use the beach, Morgan wanted the small dwellings for his family's use.
Once his family was done with them, he'd hand the property over to the Department of Conservation (DOC).
Morgan said he thought this was a reasonable offer considering he would be negotiating a "buy now" price with the owner and parting with a sizeable chunk of money.
He guessed he would need to put in close to $1m due to the value being pushed up by all the publicity surrounding the campaign.
The philanthropist has since said the conditional offer was part of a plan to keep Kiwis donating to the cause.
In a blog post published on Monday, Morgan said if he had said he would make up the difference with no strings attached, the crowd would have stopped donating immediately.
"I needed a mechanism whereby the crowd would keep donating – perhaps at an even faster rate, since donations were starting to flag.
"Hence I came up with the idea that I'd demand in return for my help, access to the sheds on the properties.
"Now remember these sheds will be demolished as soon as the crowd donates the property to DOC – so in effect the crowd would actually lose nothing by giving me the exclusive access to them – it would still have access to the beach and virtually all of the rest of the property.
"My faith in the animal spirits of crowds told me however that this would make them hopping mad and they'd keep donating to spite me."
Morgan said his offer did not come out of the blue; he was asked for help when donations were about $1m.
"I immediately determined this crowd had entered a dogfight with the mega-rich for the property.
"Also I could see that the glaring weakness of the crowd's strategy was that it was telling the world how much it was going to bid."
By keeping a public tally of donations, the campaign was helping push up the market value of the property, he said.
Morgan said the most efficient way to help the crowd secure its much-loved beach was to directly negotiate with the seller outside the open tender process and agree upon a fixed, "buy now" price.
He never wanted the dwellings, he just wanted everyone to be able to access the beach at as small cost to him as possible, Morgan said, adding that he hoped the crowd won the tender.
The campaigners said they wanted to give everyday Kiwis the chance to buy the beach on their own, so they turned Morgan down.
Major labelled Morgan's offer "a distant plan C" but said it would be better to have Morgan as the owner than someone who would not allow the public to use the beach.
The campaigners are working with lawyers and Harcourts chief executive Chris Kennedy on its tender submission.
Attempts have been made to contact Morgan.