Larry Williams: Beach auction probably a waste of time

Listen to Larry Williams now on Newstalk ZB, 4pm to 7pm. Today he looks at the Awaroa Bay auction campaign, Syrian refugees, and the latest on the US Presidential election.
Satellite view Awaroa Bay from Google Maps.
Satellite view Awaroa Bay from Google Maps.

The tender for the chunk of scrub and beach in Abel Tasman closed today at 3pm.

There is excitement from the few Kiwis who donated to the Givealittle campaign. Even the PM is talking about chucking some dollars at this purchase.

That is straight out "political opportunism". The taxpayer doesn't need to be involved with this. There is some naivety in this purchase.

Unless the vendor is philanthropic and wants to preserve public access, this property will go to the highest tender, which will most likely be a private bidder.

Think about it - the Givealittle campaign is roughly a $2 million bid. The property was sold for $2 million eight years ago, so it's hard to see it going for the same money - more so with the frenzy that's been going on around the bid.

Personally, I don't see $2 million doing it.

Trump's worst debate

Yesterday's latest Republican debate was both wonderful entertainment and cringe-worthy at the same time.

Donald Trump had a terrible debate. He looked unhinged at times with his tone and insults. He approached the debate like it was a cage fight.

Trump's modus operandi for the debate was all-out attack and to interrupt as often as he could, calling "liar, liar" at his opponents.

His attack on former President George W Bush was blistering. Trump said Iraq was a huge mistake, George W lied to the American people and - get this - he blamed him for 9/11.

It's no coincidence that George W is due in South Carolina this week to campaign for his little brother Jeb, so it's a big punt for Trump to call-out George W.

Trump being Trump, he thinks he won the debate, but I think it was his worst effort. But I've been wrong on this before. The more contemptuous, the more boorish, the more support he gets.

Syrian refugee pressure

Amnesty International is holding public hearings at Parliament to pressure the Government to take more Syrian refugees.

United Future leader Peter Dunne looks like he supports an increase to the current quota of 750 refugees per year. The mayors of Auckland, Invercargill, Dunedin, Marlborough, Gisborne, Lower Hutt and Hamilton are also on board - although I'm not sure what the ratepayers will have to say about that.

The PM hasn't ruled out taking in more Syrian refugees on an emergency basis, but is hesitant to commit to a higher quota. We are already taking in 600 Syrian refugees over three years on top of the annual quota.

I support a realistic managed intake of refugees, but you have to have the infrastructure in place.

You never hear from these pressure groups about our ability to accommodate the extra refugees. Nobody talks about the cost or the logistics or the housing or the jobs or long term welfare or assimilation. It seems raising those issues is not politically correct.

What we get is, "We must do our bit". This is like we are being "shamed" into taking more refugees.

Here's the bottom line for me: we must have the ability to take these refugees, and you have to make damned sure the refugees are security checked properly.

The public are not fools, they have seen the reports of ISIS infiltrating the refugees going to Europe.

All the issues cannot be ignored.

Newstalk ZB radio host Larry Williams. Photo / Michael Craig
Newstalk ZB radio host Larry Williams. Photo / Michael Craig

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