With Christchurch mayor Sideshow Bob and his merry band of council supporters considering helping out failed property developer Dave Henderson (see previous post), a regular reader of this blog, 'nefarious 2000', has pointed out the parallels with a Henderson property development from some six years ago.
Back then the Christchurch City Council were considering taking a role in the redevelopment of the old Turners and Growers site in Tuam Street. There was a proposal to build residential housing on the site. In particular, there was a proposal being considered to build student accommodation.
Enter into the equation Mr Dave Henderson. He too was looking at building residential housing in the same area of the city.
Henderson certainly didn't want the Christchurch City Council developing a competing inner city residential housing site.
So what did Henderson do?
Well, he had just bought the Sargood's building in Lichfield Street, which was part of a 'character group of buildings'.
Displaying the kind of bullying behaviour that he is known for, Henderson applied for a demolition permit for the Sargoods Building, unless the Christchurch City Council promised him that they would not become involved with the Turners and Growers site.
Of course Henderson is the same man who espouses the virtues of free and unfettered competition - although, apparently, not when it involves his interests.
In the end, 'Hendo' decided not to demolish the building and redeveloped it instead. And, no prizes for guessing, the Christchurch City Council did not pursue its interest in the Turners and Growers site.
That site remains empty to this day.
To add insult to injury though, the Christchurch City Council's own call centre moved in to the first floor of the redeveloped Sargoods building - paying the kind of high rentals that Henderson is also known to demand.
The mayor at that time, Garry Moore, - like Sideshow Bob - was also a big fan of 'Hendo'.
And 'Hendo' was a fan of Moore:
'Developer and libertarian Dave Henderson counts Moore a friend, despite early run-ins over various projects and their divergent political leanings. "What we have in common is that we both abhor rules and regulations," says Henderson. The developer believes that Moore is constantly frustrated by the limits of what can be achieved in public life, in stark contrast to the enjoyment he gets from his private roles on various trusts and as a director of Whalewatch. "He's passionate about making a difference. But he also has this burning desire to be inclusive, to involve everyone, and that is a one-way road to frustration and misery." (The Press,Dec 2, 2005)
Gary Moore's son, Johnny Moore, went to work for Henderson's Property Ventures - until he got laid off recently.
Johnny Moore is also a Henderson tenant, as part-owner of the South of Lichfield bar, Cartel.
Nefarious 2000 points out that the Sargoods building is also up for sale, but without the blaze of publicity that has surrounded the attempts by Hendo' to sell some of his other properties. Says Nefarious: 'I guess he doesn't want to be seen publicly to be selling a building which forms a part of "SOL Square", because that really would be the ultimate blow to the man's ego.'
Nefarious 2000 asks 'Isn't it about time the activities of Christchurch's mayors, both present and immediate past, were subjected to an inquiry?'
A fair question indeed.