Little’s legal problems haven’t gone away

Lani Hagaman is still suing Andrew Little:

Lani Hagaman says she plans to continue pursuing Labour leader Andrew Little in court as her late husband Earl Hagaman would have wanted to be vindicated.

Speaking exclusively to NBR Mrs Hagaman says she will continue her husband’s appeal against the trial judge’s qualified privilege ruling, which prevented the defamation verdict in the Andrew Little case becoming a judgment in Mr Hagaman’s favour.

In April, a 12-person jury found Andrew Little defamed Earl Hagaman in one of six statements but hung on whether he was protected by qualified privilege.

Because it was hung the jury did not consider whether damages should be paid.

Ms Hagaman says it was an “interesting ruling” that “needs some type of clarification.”

“I’m doing my best for Earl and I’m trying to finish what we originally started,” she says.

“I am quite clear that, notwithstanding Earl’s passing, he would want us to seek to finish this and to complete his vindication.”

Mr Hagaman died in late May aged 92.

Andrew Little could have avoided all this if he had just apologised.

She says all she ever wanted from Mr Little is a “satisfactory” apology to clear her husband’s name. She says one has still not been received and the apology Mr Little did give was not good enough.

“I want him to come out and say the connection never existed because there never was one.”

The Hagamans were seeking a maximum of $2.3 million in damages, after Mr Little made public statements saying a donation the couple made to the National Party and the subsequent awarding of a tender to manage a resort in Niue “stank to high heaven,” along with five other comments he made to media outlets.

“I asked Mr Little to come out and apologise before my husband died and I have never heard from him.”

She says she’s not sure when it will go to the Court of Appeal as it’s up to the judges and their timetable.

“So I’ll sit tight and wait for that to happen.”

Asked to respond to Ms Hagaman’s statement, Mr Little says: “If this matter comes before the courts then you’ll hear a response. At this point, I’ve referred the media reporting to my lawyer, and I remain focused on changing the government”.

I guess we will be hearing from Mr Little from the witness box again then.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.