Earl Hagaman

Too Little, too late for desperate Labour leader

Andrew Little tried a settlement at the last moment in his defamation case.

It was rejected, and rightly so as it wouldn’t even have covered the legal bills of the Hagamans.

Labour leader Andrew Little upped his offer from $26,000 to $100,000 in a last-minute bid to settle the defamation claim against him by hoteliers Earl and Lani Hagaman but Mrs Hagaman rejected it as too little and too late.

Little’s offer was revealed in Mrs Hagaman’s evidence at the High Court in Wellington, during which she read out letters between lawyers for the two. ? Read more »

Little’s reputation on the line as the man he allegedly defamed is dying

Andrew Little must feel very sick about now.

He’s about to start the second day of his defamation trial, where the Hagamans are alleging that Andrew Little defamed them by essentially accusing them of corruption.

I am very interested in this case, firstly because Andrew Little elected a trial by jury and also because he is trying on the defence of a qualified privilege.

A defamation trial against Labour leader Andrew Little is about to begin in the Wellington High Court.

The action relates to comments Little made about a management contract Earl Hagaman’s company, Scenic Hotel, was awarded for Matavai Resort on Niue and a donation to the National Party during the 2014 campaign.

Earl and Lani Hagaman have sued Little for defamation and Lani Hagaman will begin her evidence today. ? Read more »

Little will face court for his defamation of Earl Hagaman

Andrew Little attacked Earl Hagaman for a donation he gave to the National party. He essentially accused the Hagamans of corruption.

That has now landed him in court.

Labour leader Andrew Little will face defamation proceedings?after the founders of a hotel chain?rejected a late apology over accusations regarding a Niue resort deal.

Little has apologised unreservedly?for his comments, after the deal was cleared by the Auditor General last year, and says it is “unfortunate” the case is still heading to court. ? Read more »

Hagaman has a clear run to take Andrew Little for everything he?s got

Andrew Little’s stunt to smear the Hagamans and National with the Auditor-General has blown up in his face.

The Auditor General has found?there was nothing unusual about the selection of Scenic Hotel Group as the operator of a Niue tourism resort at the centre of a political row over a six figure donation to National.

Auditor General Lyn Provost said from the available information her office had found there was a standard procurement process with reasoned and documented analysis for the selection of Scenic Hotel Group to operate the resort, and for the subsequent investment of New Zealand international development assistance funds in expanding the resort.

The contract was referred to Provost by Labour leader Andrew Little after he questioned the company’s links to National.

Scenic Hotel Group founder Earl Hagaman, and wife Lani, made a donation to the National Party during the 2014 election of $101,000. Scenic Hotel Group. A month later the company won a tender to manage the Matavai resort in Niue, which receives funding from the New Zealand Government.

Little is now being sued for defamation by the Hagaman’s after refusing to apologise and retract a statement that the deal “stunk to high heaven”. ? Read more »

There goes Labour’s war chest in an election year

Labour are going to be in a blind panic now.

They have no money to fight the Mt Roskill by-election and now their idiot leader has gotten himself served for defamation.

Labour leader Andrew Little has now been served with defamation proceedings by National party donors and hoteliers Earl and Lani Hagaman.

The Hagamans confirmed in a statement they had now commenced defamation proceedings against Mr Little in the High Court and they had been served on Mr Little.

The defamation suit relates to comments Mr Little made about a management contract Mr Hagaman’s company, Scenic Hotel, was awarded to manage the Matavai Resort on Niue. That was awarded a few weeks after Mr Hagaman donated $101,000 to the National Party during the 2014 campaign.

The Hagamans gave Mr Little a deadline to retract his comments and apologise last month, but Mr Little refused.

“As we said earlier, the reasons we’re taking defamation action have been widely reported in the media and I won’t be repeating his allegations that Earl and I find hurtful, highly offensive and totally false.

We will now clear our names in court”, Lani Hagaman said. ? Read more »

Little decides to play chicken with the people he defamed

via One News

via One News

It was revealed last month that Earl Hagaman, chairman of Scenic Hotels, made a $100,000 donation a month before his company was awarded a contract to run Niue’s Matavai luxury resort.

The resort is heavily funded by New Zealand government aid and is owned by a trust on behalf of Niue’s government.

At the time, Mr Little questioned the timing of Mr Hagaman’s donation and the awarding of the contract, and called on the auditor-general to investigate.

Read more »

Andrew Little facing defamation action from Hagamans

Another of Andrew Little’s smears looks to have backfired with the aggrieved parties notifying him he needs to withdraw the smears or face a long and debilitating defamation action.

Labour leader Andrew Little has been threatened with defamation action by the owners of a hotel chain.

Earl Hagaman, the founder of the Scenic Hotel Group, said Mr Little had a week to retract and apologise for comments he made last month about the management of a resort owned by Matavai Niue Limited.

If Mr Little did not do so, he would face defamation proceedings, Mr Hagaman said in a statement.

Mr Little made the comments outside Parliament’s debating chamber, and was therefore not covered by legal privilege.

Mr Little said he had received a letter from the Hagaman’s lawyer this morning. He was now “considering the issue and taking advice”.

He added: “I will not be restrained from undertaking my constitutional role of calling the government of the day to account.”

On April 18, Labour called for the Auditor General to look into Scenic Hotels Group’s contract to manage the Matavai resort after it was discovered that Mr Hagaman, gave a $101,000 donation to National the month before the contract was announced in 2014.

Mr Little said at that time that the close timing of the donation to the awarding of the contract “stinks to high heaven”. ? Read more »

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. […]

Read more »

A closer look at Little’s Scenic Circle ineptitude

The accusation:

The “smoking gun” so far looks something like this – 87-year-old businessman, Earl Hagaman, made a sizeable donation to the National Party and the hotel group he founded subsequently won a Government contract in Niue to run the Island’s biggest hotel.

Labour is calling for an Auditor General’s inquiry and leader Andrew Little claims something “stinks to high heaven” about the way money “earmarked as aid” for Niue “has instead been given to upgrade a resort run by a National Party donor”.

Little then goes on to finger McCully by suggesting the group which decided the contract were the foreign minister’s hand picked appointees.

Little deliberately plants a few seeds with this statement; firstly, that money intended for traditional aid (presumably he means crops, humanitarian relief or medical supplies etc) was instead diverted to a luxury resort. And second, that there may be something dodgy about Government appointees deciding the contract.

Read more »

Builders and Wreckers: Key and Little

Last week could not have provided a more obvious contrast between the choice that voters face. ?Key worked hard to earn money for us all by charming the pants off existing and new trading partners in China. Little, on the other hand, ran smear after smear.

Prime Minister John Key is due to arrive back from his trip to China [today], but it is already being hailed as a success in terms of trade.

China looks likely to allow New Zealand chilled meat into its market, opening up valuable trade opportunities.

It could be worth hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars to our economy. Experts say exporting chilled meat to China will open a whole new market.

On his last day of a week-long visit to China, Mr Key said the first shipments could be on the way within a couple of months.

That’s a huge win for beef and lamb farmers. Read more »

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