Mataura held to Ransom by Foreign Investor
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Mataura held to Ransom by Foreign Investor

Gore : New Zealand | Dec 03, 2008 at 3:50 AM PST
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town hall opening 14.11.08

Mataura, a small working class town just north of Invercargill, is being held to ransom by an American investor, Dr Jack Phillips, who owns the majority of commercial property in the town. He brought them for a song after the closure of the Paper Mill - the town's major employer.

He is charging excessive rents for the use of his buildings despite the fact that he has let them fall into disrepair and many of them are simply a hazard.

He has a vision for Mataura that is to involve restoring the buildings and turning the town into a boutique town with art galleries and antique stores. It is some eight years since he purchased the buildings, and he has, to all intents and purposes, done nothing.

Local entrepreneurs are unable to start businesses in Mataura because the rents are prohibitive.

Dr Phillips has not consulted the town regarding his vision and feels no compunction to do so. He is not involved in any of the community initiatives that have started to revitalise the local economy and shows no willingness to assist the community in their efforts.

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Dr Jack Phillips
Dr Jack Phillips on Bridge St. in Mataura
kiwimeg is based in Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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  • Mataura Fights Back

    Submitted By: kiwimeg | 4 months ago
    Some time back I wrote a post Shame on You Dr Jack Phillips!! Give Us Back Our Town!! about how my home town, Mataura is being held to ransom by a foreign investor who is letting our main street fall into disrepair and stifling our community. Today I ...

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