Rodney Hide analyses Labour’s Hagaman hit

Little alleges Hagaman’s $101,000 donation to National at the last election and his company Scenic Hotel Group winning the contract to manage the Matavai Resort on Niue “stinks to high heaven”, made worse by the Government spending $7.5 million to upgrade the resort.

But the Hagaman donation was correctly registered and made public, as the law requires. There was nothing underhand or secret.

The resort is not the Hagamans’. It is owned by the Niue Tourism Property Trust on behalf of the Government of Niue.

The Government did the resort’s development to boost tourism to Niue, which has doubled. The project is regarded as a success. The development benefits the Niue Government and people, not Scenic Hotel or the Hagamans. […]

In 2013 Auckland firm Horwath HTL did an independent review for the board and, among other things, recommended the appointment of a hotel management company.

The following year, on behalf of the board, Horwath ran an Expressions of Interest and Request for Proposals process that culminated in the consideration of two proposals with the recommendation of Scenic Hotels. The board agreed.

The transaction was not just arm’s length, several oceans of separation lay between the political donation and the management contract. There is no evidence of impropriety. The process would appear a model of probity.

Meanwhile, Little has besmirched a successful and highly regarded business couple, a New Zealand business success story, senior government officials, his own MP’s dad, and the Premier of Niue.

National sails on untouched. Little is on camera weaving and dodging the obvious questions and backpedalling on his original concerns.

Politics can be nasty. It’s often incompetent. Somehow Little has managed to plumb new depths.


The other question is:  Why does Matt McCarten still have a job?


– Rodney Hide, NZ Herald


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  • Jax

    As far as i can tell little was stupid enough to defame these quite wealthy people outside of privledge numerous times. Wont it be a shame if they decided to make an example of him. All of which he deserves of course a basically self inflicted wound. Or was it..

  • Kiwiracer

    Does anyone have any idea the amount of union support to the labour party. . . . . . .both financial and resources. . . . . . . .I would be surprised if they weren’t expecting some return on this

  • sheppy

    I hope the Hagamans have their day in court and are successful in a action against the angry little man. Why should a successful business couple who correctly followed rules be smeared without consequences just because John Key is out of the country furthering New Zealands interests and mr 7% thinks he can score a few points.
    It’s about time there was accountability for the continued smearing!

  • XCIA

    Someone or something that the Muppet trusts has to be feeding him all this nonsense in the hope that he throws himself under the bus. Surely, one of our readers who is close to the action can put us out of our misery?

  • Second time around

    Andy seems to have gone to ground, nothing new on Twitter and his Facebook page stripped of the anti semitic rantings that had given it some interest. If he was wise he would stay out the news until he has done something useful, like pull a dog sled to the North Pole.

  • Alan Beresford B’Stard

    Nice hit Rodney. Bag him and tag him.

  • Aucky

    I can’t wait to read the demented opinions of the commenters. Rodney sets them off every week but this time around they will be incandescent. There’s no doubt though that it’s all John Key’s doing backed up by his shonky mates on Wall Street.

  • Maisie

    ‘Why does Matt McCarten still have a job?’ Maybe he still hasn’t finished the ‘hit job’ on his Leader.

  • rantykiwi

    I expect McCarten still has a job because in true union thug fashion he has a nice set of compromising photos of Little.

  • Macca

    Personally I would also like to see this couple go the MSM for voicing this nonsense in the first place. Sure Little is as guilty as a puppy next to a puddle and should pay for his stupidity but the media are always the first to be publicizing these smears and are above any form of accountability for their actions.

    This situation needs to change and it’s about time they were bought to heal for promoting comments which are more than often false and should have been checked for their validity before going to air. None of us are allowed to go blagging others without fact and get away with it, why should they?

  • Wayne Peter McIndoe

    your last sentence is apt, somewhere along the line Little is getting some real bad advice, or is this all part of a set up to oust him?

  • one for the road

    Given what Rodney says is correct about the process of selecting a resort manager, then it appears that (yet again) angry has shot off his mouth without engaging gear, not bothering to do his homework or not bright enough to rsearch the background and proceses required in business for such things- but then again, angry is angry – he has never been in a job with any real profit responsibility and he is frothing at the mouth to dump negatives on National at any turn… Hopefully the Hagamanns are proud and strong enough to take the clown through the legal system

  • James Howlett

    “Why does Matt McCarten still have a job?” Because he’s not working for Andrew Little I assume…