We all expected a hit on the National Party as soon as Key was overseas: here it is

Mr Earl Hagaman, CNZM

Mr Earl Hagaman, CNZM

Labour says there are question[SIC] to answer over a National Party donor winning a hotel management contract in Niue after making a major donation during the tender process.

Leader Andrew Little has written to the Auditor-General to ask her to investigate Earl Hagaman, who donated more than $100,000 to the party, and whether everything was above board.

The donation was made two years ago, and a month later his company, Scenic Circle, was awarded a Government-funded $7.5 million upgrade to its resort in Niue.

Mr Little says it “stinks to high heaven following its dodgy deals with SkyCity and the Saudi sheep deal”.

“New Zealand money, which was earmarked as aid for the island nation, has instead been given to upgrade a resort run by a National party donor. That’s not what Kiwi families want their hard-earned money going to.”

Stinks to high heaven, says Andrew.  

Prime Minister John Key referred questions to the National Party president because he didn’t deal with donations.

“If you’re telling me they’re a donor they are. They must be on a register somewhere, but I don’t know anything about it.”

Questions about the tender process, who knew about the links between the donations and the tenderer and whether the Niuean people will benefit from the upgrade needed to be answered, Mr Little says.

“It was Murray McCully’s personal appointees on the Niue Tourism Property Trust which awarded this contract.”

Mr McCully strongly denies there’s any link between the donation and the contract.

“Absolutely none whatsoever,” he told RNZ.

Let’s see where this goes.  This is Day 1, so it’s just a matter of getting the information out in front of the media and try and get the players to take positions.  Once that’s done, the next load of info will come out.

It’s only then that we’ll know if this has any substance.  Right now, it’s innuendo.

And as we know from Andrew, if it looks dodgy, it must be dodgy.



– Newshub, via RNZ


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  • willtin

    Is McCully the opposite to Teflon? The Saudi deal certainly raises eyebrows, let’s see where this one leads.

  • RightofSingapore

    This from the guy who met with reps of big pharma and then started pushing for Govt funding of Keytruda. Perhaps failed interim Labor Leader Andrew Little should ask them if they have a drug for hypocrisy and sanctimony.

  • Second time around

    When I heard the story on the radio this morning I just knew Andy would drop everything, Panama Papers, attacking Shewan, the Kiwi Dream, the anti panda campaign, the Kermadec Trench, everything to get on board.

  • Sally

    One of the trustees of the Niue Tourism Property Trust is Ross Ardern (NZ’s High Commissioner to Niue and father of Labour MP Jacinda Ardern).
    At this stage will just bear that in mind.

    Also note a Lani Hagaman gave $ 25,000 Sept 2014 and $10,000 on Oct 2013 to the ACT party so it looks like the Hagamans are in the habit of donating to political parties.

    • ploughboy007

      thats pure gold.andy saying jacindas old mans in nationals pocket

      • biscuit barrel

        Ex officio ?
        It does say he is the govt High Commissioner ( or Ambassador)

    • Barnacles2

      I wonder if daddy will tell Jacinda to get her boss to pull his head in, before he ends up looking more a fool than usual.

    • biscuit barrel

      But making the donation to National a month after the contract came through ?

      • Sally

        The Scenic Hotel managing director Brendan Taylor said Mr Hagaman didn’t know the company was in the running for the Matavai Resort contract.


        • biscuit barrel

          So thats how a family business he built from nothing is done ? This is not the Hilton chain with 000s of locations, they only have 18 inc Niue

          • biscuit barrel

            “His wife Lani is executive director and looks after the detailed running of the chain stretching from Paihia in the far north, to Gore and Queenstown in the deep south and two international Scenic Hotels in Tonga and Niue” NBR

            Wife makes the most of the decisions, cant imagine why she would tell her husband or even know about a huge donations to National.
            Thats a relief to know that Sally

  • contractor

    The party of dirty politics (Labour) is at it again. Absolutely no policies of any merit whatsoever, only silly ill-conceived ideas, leaving made up dirt the other key part of their platform.
    No wonder Little’s support is lower than Winston’s.

  • john Doe

    And of course Little’s personal reporter, travelling with John Key, commie Dann, will be reporting on this live from China. His script will have been written by Mc Carten before he left NZ.

  • Big_Al

    No, Mr Little, it does not “stink to high heaven”. What does “Stink to High Heaven” is you and your uncouth mob of morons who are stealing millions of dollars of our taxpayers money in salaries while pretending to be a political party. Anyone who calls themselves a politician, should be in parliament to contribute towards the betterment of our country.
    Unlike these labour ludites who are hell bent on destruction and personal vendettas.
    Not one of your mob would last five minutes in the private sector so you had better start booking a place in the que at your nearest WINZ office.

  • Aucky

    Hang on a minute. The Hagaman family has been at the forefront of of NZ hotel development and marketing for years. Think Scenic Circle Hotels – http://www.scenichotelgroup.co.nz. They have a massive reputation in the inbound tourism industry and there’s probably none better to help develop Niue tourism infrastructure.

    • localnews

      And 100% nz owned. I would have thought most of the big hotel chains would have at least a degree of foreign ownership, and Niue doesn’t need a Hilton, scenic circle is probably a great fit. There probably isn’t a fortune to be made in Niue, there must be some degree of helping the locals involved in running a hotel there.

      • Aucky

        Andy has picked the wrong scrap yet again. There’s zero upside for Labour here.

  • Left Right Out

    Here comes the bus……..watch them chase it

    • Timebandit

      Woof Woof..bark Woof

  • Ross

    Wow the green eyed monster has reared its ugly head!

    No need to have a crack at someone for backing a winning team.

    In saying that, I wonder just how low Labour would go to get a 100K donation….

  • Oarsum

    Little makes the comment ” That’s not what Kiwi families want their hard-earned money going to.” Below is an official list of where some of our taxes are going. There’s quite a number of departments and qangos that should be disbanded with few noticing; and those that should never have been formed in the first place. I believe we tolerate our hard-earned money going to Defence; Law/ Justice; Police; Border protection; those who truly can’t provide for themselves; and currently tolerate superannuants

  • XCIA

    I’m surprised that the fool just doesn’t take a back seat with these revelations, because its odds on its just another attempt by the enemy within to throw him under the bus.

  • Hard1

    Pretty illogical computer in that Little head ““New Zealand money, which was earmarked as aid for the island nation, has instead been given to upgrade a resort run by a National party donor. That’s not what Kiwi families want their hard-earned money going to.”
    Niue Islanders want jobs, not the benefit. Kiwis do not want their hard earned money being used for aid. In fact, it isn’t.
    Taxes are being used for aid, focused not on handouts, but on development.
    According to Little, tax already paid is still mine, in fact my hard earned money. In that case, I want it back. This Does Not Compute!

  • Keanne Lawrence

    So much for Captain Y Fronts about attending to issues that matter. Social media must not be the nice place it has been for him at 7% so they are now trolling through everything the National party do.
    He really is getting beyond a joke this poor little character but it also speaks reams about those that are feeding him so much garbage. His gullibility level is equal to that of the flax/grassroots union members it seems. Expect some more hilarity from question time again but unlike Shearer they will just bring a line and dare I say SINKER.

  • Keeping Stock

    TVNZ was pretty luke-warm about this tonight, so if that’s the best Little and his hatchet men can come up with, it’s looking like another fail. It was about the sixth story on the news, and they didn’t even ask Corin Dann to comment on it, so even TVNZ can see that this is a low-rent smear.

    • Carl

      Was not even mentioned on Tv3 news.

  • Woody

    Dear Andrew,
    I am a hard working New Zealander and I would much rather my hard earned money went to supporting something like this than paying your and your team’s salaries. No tax dodgers on my team either.

  • sheppy

    I wonder if this one was hurriedly taken out of the cupboard to take the heat off the reappearing story of Labours Chief of staffs history of spending PAYE money owed to the IRD.
    What was that about nobody should avoid paying tax Mr Little?

  • Larry

    It would be pretty hard to find someone with the experience and knowledge to assist in Niue that hadn’t donated to the National Party

    • biscuit barrel

      Were Scenic the only tenderer?

      • earthyundertones

        No, there were two companies tendering.

  • OneTrack

    Andrew Little and Labour, focussing on the important stuff as usual. Dopes.

  • Nooman

    Cue the post from Presland on TS too, with standard comments decrying the lack of MSM pickup. They are bereft of policy and political nous. Even on 28% they still believe the way to engage the electorate is through this rubbish. Surely this is the end for the strategist McCarten? Surely?

    • Keeping Stock

      There’s a good reason why there has been very limited media pick-up of this story; even the Media Party, by and large, can see that it’s not going to fly.

      In NCEA terms, it is another “not achieved” from the angry leader of the Nasty Party.

  • Mick Ie

    And so here we go. John Key’s out of the country and Angry Andy starts up with his Mantra “stinks to high heaven”.
    Aunty Helen’s was “I’ve had a guts full”.
    I can not believe I am actually quoting her, but there you go:-
    Andy? I’ve had a guts full of hearing your “stinks to high heaven”. Change the record!

  • JeffDaRef

    Of course it’s completely above board that the major donors to Labour are rewarded with what is effectively a casting vote for party leader and dictate most of their policy for them?

    • Sailor Sam

      But the unions are not major donors to a little party.
      In fact there aren’t any at all.

  • Aucky

    Well that didn’t work out very well Andy. Back for another go at the Kermadecs?

  • biscuit barrel

    Back in 2013

    Hon Phil Goff to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (22 Jul 2013): What level of support has New Zealand invested in the Matavai Resort and what analysis was done to demonstrate what priority should be given to this investment?

    Hon Murray McCully (Minister of Foreign Affairs) replied: New Zealand has invested $10,129,000 to: refurbish the Matavai Resort, expanding it from 24 to 44 rooms; and, develop a 10 unit motel complex with an adjacent 3 bedroom villa which was completed in February 2013.

    So essentially the NZ taxpayer renovated and built the place , even before the latest
    $7.5 million ‘investment”.

    To boot we essentially pay Air NZ to fly there

    ” New Zealand’s comprehensive support to the Niue Tourism Strategy has funded, 1. Niue’s tourism office and its destination marketing;
    2.Niue’s arrangements with Air New Zealand; ?????
    3. Development of tourism infrastructure in Niue such as sea tracks; and
    4.Initiatives to encourage private sector participation in the tourism industry.

    So I suppose the taxpayers paying for flying sheep to the desert isnt such a good deal as the taxpayers paying for Kiwis holidays in Niue. Aifares- Accomodation- touristy stuff.


    • Second time around

      It’s aid to Nuie and it is interesting to see how quickly the Chinese news media picked up on Andy’s emerging “scandal”. The Chinese government would invest a lot more in our corner of the world and will if we fail to support it. Perhaps that would be a good thing, and I look forward to Andy Little’s considered opinion on the matter.

  • Alan Beresford B’Stard

    Well I hope that guy uses some of the money to get a decent wig, he looks shocking.
    (I’m talking about Hagaman, not the GG)

    • biscuit barrel

      Hope hes not responsible for picking front of house staff….. maybe he got started after Basil at Fawlty Towers

      • Aucky

        You should read more bb. Hagaman is one of the icons of NZ’s tourism industry. Such a snide personal comment is more worthy of Phil Twyford than a WOBH poster.

        • Alan Beresford B’Stard

          Anyone who wears a rug that bad deserves ridicule.

          • John Colbert

            Aucky fitted it , so take that back !

  • benniedawg

    I wonder if Andy stopped barking at every passing bus wether his and his parties ratings might improve? My other half still has a passing interest in the hopeless, but even she is starting to tire of their constant attempts at ‘gotcha politics’. I wonder how many more are switching off. They really are a cabal of fools. Every voter they turn off I imagine will abandon them at least for the next election. By then their support base will no doubt be so small that they will fill a minor party spot. I also wonder who will be the principle next opposition party?

  • Cynical Guy

    Mr Hagaman is/was the owner of Scenic Circle Hotels. He’s an American that moved here and bought the hotel chain – which employs a lot of New Zealanders, probably some of them union members. So you know – do a hit that might make him leave the country and take his investment or try and close him down. Because that’ll make everyone see just what a rotter that John Key is!

  • WBC

    And again Labour hands out votes to National.

    Little Andy doesn’t understand and it appears he never will.

  • earthyundertones

    Much like the last attempted smear (a deposit is kinda like a foreign trust…) this hit involves discrediting innocent hard working people to manage a single “booyahh” strike. In this case one of those parties being smashed with the “its all about perception” bat is Ross Ardern (Jacinda’s Father). These hits are as strategic and visionary as a 12 year old firing an Uzi from the backseat of his brothers Eldorado in 80’s Detroit.

  • Toby

    It’s almost like they are following a book…. how to be an opposition party.

    Step 847- safe any dirty gossip stories until the PM is out of the country.

    The problem is the playbook hasn’t been working so they just think they have to keep following it louder and harder.

    Guys (labour) this doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked and it won’t work. Even if you found evidence that John Key had received a direct bribe from a massive international corporation and then changed the law to suit them, it would likely not put a single sent in the JK machine.

    You aren’t getting it. Kiwis just want someone relatively sensible, calm and stable in charge. Nothing over the top just sensible and you guys are coming off as all cray cray.

    Just calm down, stop obsessing about how JK is the antichrist and talk some sense for once and you might actually make some progress. Attacking JK and national is like firing a water pistol at an aircraft carrier, you just look like a bit of a fool.

  • SaggyNaggy

    I know this fellow. He’s American, solidly right wing, and has donated to National and ACT for years and years. He does it because he supports right and purported centre-right government in New Zealand. His motives are ideological. I doubt very much that there is any substance to these allegations.

  • Graeme

    For goodness sake keep mccarten on. That should finally bring about the total demise of the labour party. BUT the alternative is even worse, so its better theone yiu know than the one you dont.

  • Graeme

    Perhaps Little should be reminded of the dodgy financial goings on with the last Labour Government before he opens his mouth about others . He hasn’t mentioned the $158,000 that NZ first owes.