Wellington businessman Ian Cassels hits back at Sir Peter Jackson in open letter about Shelly Bay development
Property developer Ian Cassels has hit back at Sir Peter Jackson over Wellington's controversial Shelly Bay development.
In an open letter to Jackson, the director of property development firm The Wellington Company (TWC), urged the movie-maker to "stick to the facts".
"I am writing to you directly to set out some basic facts about the redevelopment of Shelly Bay – Taikuru," Cassels said.
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"The proposed redevelopment is not a 'modern day land grab'. Such a suggestion is offensive to all concerned, and wrong."
The response from Cassels followed a 6600-word post on Jackson's Facebook page on Monday evening that claimed the Shelly Bay development was a "modern day land grab".
Cassels said it was also wrong to infer that TWC and the Wellington City Council were involved in "some sort of conspiracy to conceal the true infrastructure costs".
"Likewise it is wrong to say, as you have, that ratepayers will face a 'financial hit' at some future date when 'the undisclosed, astronomical cost' of widening the road becomes known. The scenario you so colourfully describe is fanciful.
"As developers of this project we firmly believe the infrastructure costs required by the project (including water, waste water, public amenities and the widening of the road) will fall within the budgeted $20 million, Cassels said in his letter.
"Council has agreed to pay $10m of that amount. In the event those essential costs for the purposes of Shelly Bay - Taikuru are greater than budgeted, any additional sum will be paid, not by council, but by TWC."
Signing off, Cassels offered a last-minute e-olive branch to Jackson.
"Please refrain from repeating false claims and deliberately using your considerable influence to spread misinformation.
"We would be happy to meet with you... if that would assist."