Sir Ray Avery says the prospects of his planned charity concert at Auckland's Eden Park next year are "not looking good".
A decision was expected to be made today on whether the proposed "Million Babies" Waitangi Day LifePod Appeal concert would go ahead, after lawyers for trustees of the Eden Park Trust advised the consent process for the concert was likely to stretch beyond October and cost in excess of $750,000, not including legal costs.
Proceeds of the Live Aid-style concert would go towards the $4 million that was needed to make 2000 LifePods promoted to save babies around the world.
Eden Park Trust said three-quarters of submissions to the resource consent process supported the LifePod Appeal concert, as did 91 per cent of Aucklanders and 87 per cent of people living nearby.
But the event has met some strong opposition — notably from local residents and former Prime Minister Helen Clark, who argued the charity concert would set a precedent for future shows.
Avery told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking the decision might be delayed, but it was "not looking good".
"The message we got was the [chief executive] may delay the decision, there are a few more options. But it is not looking good."
The "ballbreaker" was the number of submissions opposing it.
"Sixty people want to front up in court, so it means the costs are far more than Eden Park thought they would be."
The level of opposition was "beyond belief".
"If I was sitting in the UK and somebody was saying that in New Zealand they wanted to stop a concert to raise money to save a million kids, and then there is a whole group of people who don't want to do it, it would just look awful on the world stage."
The scientist and philanthropist has been met with criticism over the LifePods themselves, following an article by the Newsroom website that scrutinised the product and claims surrounding it.
Among a range of issues, the investigation highlighted the facts the LifePods did not yet have ISO certification as a medical device and production had not begun at scale.
It also raised questions over whether Avery should be leading the LifePods process, whether he'd been transparent enough, and whether any of the incubators would be actually produced soon after the concert.
Kip Marks, who previously worked on Avery's LifePods project, also questioned whether the product was ready for manufacture yet. Speaking to TVNZ, Marks said fundraising money was more likely to be used for product development.
Avery disputed Marks' assessment.
"If you haven't got enemies, you haven't got character. He worked for us seven years ago.
"This guy makes shower hubs. We had a falling out with him, he had some ideas that didn't work. He costs us a few bob, and we got rid of him."
Avery said $2m had already been raised to get the pods into production.
They now had a contract with an Indian manufacturer, the product pilot was ready to go into production, and the manufacturer would go through its own ISO process so the product could be sold anywhere in the world.
The February fundraiser was to purchase the incubators, Avery said.
"Immediately as we had the life pods off the [production] ramp I wanted to have the money to get them out at scale.
"I had this mad idea, why couldn't we, for one day, like the Somme, put our rifles down and forget about the park stoush, let's all be human beings and just do it."
The concert could not be moved to another venue such as Mt Smart Stadium because of the deal they had and range of other events already planned for the day, Avery said.
"We have all of this great stuff going on and it is terrible there is this radical group who want to bring it down with smear campaigns.
"Their problem is they are radicalised.
"I met with the neighbour association, I sat and showed them a nurse saying this baby would not have died if it had an incubator and this guy turns to me and says, 'I have been fighting Eden park for 18 years and I'm not going to be swayed by your propaganda'.
"You can't fix that."