The organisers of a public $2 million crowdfunding campaign to buy a pristine Abel Tasman beach have gone into "stealth mode" to prevent opposing bidders from knowing exactly how much money they have raised.
In the face of criticism by millionaire Gareth Morgan, who described their campaign as "naive", the Givealittle organisers consulted lawyers yesterday afternoon and discovered they were able to freeze the published total at $2million once the target is reached, while keeping the pledges coming in until 3.30pm on Monday.
Once the $2 million target is reached, only the increase in the number of people making pledges - more than 33,700 by yesterday afternoon - will show on the site. The final tally will be kept secret.
Since the Givealittle site launched on January 22, private bidders wanting a shot at owning the 7.3ha sandspit and bush property in Awaroa Bay have known exactly what they're up against in terms of the public's bid to buy the land.
Yesterday evening the crowdfunders hit the $2 million target.
Organiser Duane Major, of Christchurch, said yesterday morning he thought Givealittle would not be able to freeze the total. But Givealittle consulted its lawyers and technicians yesterday afternoon and established the published tally could be frozen at $2 million.
"We are going into stealth mode as we get closer and closer to the time," Major said.
Tenders for the property close at 4pm on Tuesday. Bayleys estate agent Glenn Dick said more than 100 people, both from New Zealand and overseas, had expressed interest. NZME