Trying to spin the Hagaman donation

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, April 21st, 2016 - 122 comments
Categories: corruption, national, spin - Tags: , ,

On the Hagaman donation, Bryan Gould described the problem – Niue contract damaging to Govt reputation

The facts can be simply stated. The owner of Scenic Hotels, Earl Hagaman – a well-known and perennial donor to the National party – made a donation of over $100,000 to the National party, and a month later his company was awarded the valuable contract to manage a resort on Niue.

In any other country, and especially in those where such deals are commonplace, no one would be in any doubt as to what had really happened. In New Zealand, however, we are naively inclined to accept the blank-eyed, slack-mouthed assurances that it was all a coincidence and that nothing untoward had happened.

Andrew Little is doing his job in calling for an investigation, and has dealt well with the panicked response – Labour leader Andrew Little defends suspicion over Niue resort contract

Little said on RNZ it was his job seek to assurance for the New Zealand public that there was “nothing untoward” in the management of the tender.

“If you make massive donations to a political party in Government, and you’re in the business of tendering for Government work, and you get that work, then it is natural suspicions are aroused and questions are asked.They should be.”

He said he’s only referred to the facts of the matter.

Little’s beef was with the Government, who had a track record of “dodgy” dealings which needed transparency such as the SkyCity Casino deal and the Saudi sheep deal.

“I’ve had a lifetime of standing up to very powerful, privileged interests,” he said, and being threatened with law suits was nothing new.

It’s what happens when you ask for assurances about integrity and propriety, he said: “It doesn’t faze me at all”.

Well spoken.

Dirty Politics Farrar is spinning like mad on this, trying to drag Adern in to it and confuse the issue by saying that Little is accusing the board of corruption. No. The board was doing nothing wrong in applying for a contract. The problem is Hagman’s donations to National and their potential impact on the award of the contract. Who knew about the donations, when did they know, and were they involved in awarding the contract?

122 comments on “Trying to spin the Hagaman donation”

  1. save NZ 1

    The Natz are snarling, so Little is onto a winner pursuing this!
    Nicky Hager should investigate… the ‘co incidences’ are starting to add up into a tsunami,
    Scenic hotel,
    Oravida water,
    Sky city convention centre,
    Saudi sheep bribes, the list goes on…

    • MARY_A 1.1

      @ SAVENZ – yep and to add to your list of sleaze and slime involving most devious creepy leader, we have the expose` by SIMON LOUISSON in today’s TS, re “honest” John’s lawyer, not being a lawyer now, despite “honest” John claiming he was only a week ago!

      The sordid list is growing by the day it seems.

      How much longer is this going to be allowed to continue?

    • Korero pono 1.2

      Don’t the Hagaman couple have interests in casinos? Wonder if there are connections with sky city?

  2. nukefacts 2

    Why does anyone take Penguin Farrar seriously? The guy is a total Natz shill with absolutely no principles.

    Anyone remember him fronting the “Democracy under attack” rent-a-mob during the end of the Clark era? Of course once Key and co started eroding civil liberties and forcing us towards a surveillance state, Farrar was one of the cheerleaders! Not to mention his sterling work in dirty politics e.g. releasing a blog post about the Herald scoop on Cunliffe and the donation scandal – before the Herald released it!

    They guys a total closet fascist and neck deep in dirty National party shit.

    • Mosa 2.1

      Yeah but MSM run the same B S every time it looks shady for Key Nat
      Once again instead of concentrating on the corrupt issue at hand they turn the tables and it’s all Labours fault ,it’s always the same and it’s like Labour receved the donation and not the National party
      Little and Labour are trapped and we have become a one party state and Key has won the 2017 election without a vote.

      • leftie 2.1.1

        …All confirmed with a timely opinion poll, showing a miraculous surge in support, declaring National is so far ahead, and John key is the untouchable, supreme demigod of all time, with the opposition crushed and…. wait of it….National doesn’t need anyone, it can govern alone for eternity!!! So the message to the populous is, why bother voting, right? Its a done deal already.

        • Mosa 2.1.1.1

          That’s the Rights strategy.
          Keep the leftie voter discenfranchised.
          Result we don’t vote!

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Dirty Politics Farrar is spinning like mad on this, trying to drag Adern in to it and confuse the issue by saying that Little is accusing the board of corruption.

    Of course he is – it’s his job to protect National from National’s own actions.

  4. shorts 4

    I agree that the dirty politics mob are trying to drag Adern into this and the rub is they are way better at controlling the public discourse than labour and the Adern angle will be dragged out and on

    The public deserves to know all the details not just the donations

  5. Hayden 5

    Yes please Labour, keep going on this. Another passing bus – better jump on it.

  6. Roflcopter 6

    The facts can be simply stated. The owner of Scenic Hotels, Earl Hagaman – a well-known and perennial donor to the National party – made a donation of over $100,000 to the National party, and a month later his company was awarded the valuable contract to manage a resort on Niue.

    … never mind that the contract itself had started negotiations 6 months prior to the donation… oops!

    … or that of all the tenders, it was awarded to the only NZ bidder… oops!

    • framu 6.1

      hmm – isnt it odd then that the response is to target a family link to labour

      • Ian H 6.1.1

        But nobody except Andrew little is accusing Labour family members of being corrupt.

        • framu 6.1.1.1

          wow ian

          amazing argument that utterly ignores who is pushing the ardern line

          well done, gold star

        • leftie 6.1.1.2

          Ian H, are you serious?

          • Ian H 6.1.1.2.1

            Perfectly serious. In fact the denizens of kiwiblog for the most part doubt there was any corruption at all. They are not the ones accusing Mr Adern of being corrupt.

            It was Andrew Little who hurled this indiscriminate bucket of muck and spattered Mr Adern. It is a bit late now for him to try to take it back and say that he only meant to hit McCully. Because unless you credit McCully with fiendish cleverness there is no way he could have contrived to pervert this deal without all those other people including Mr Adern being complicit.

            McCully really isn’t my favorite minister, but I don’t think he is bent and I also don’t think he is clever enough to pull off what you guys seem to be alleging. Just look at the total ballsup he made of the Saudi farm thing. This isn’t Moriarty McCully, evil genius that we are talking about here.

    • Ross 6.2

      “never mind that the contract itself had started negotiations 6 months prior to the donation… oops!”

      That is irrelevant. When was the decision to award the contract made – before or after the donation? And why did the Hagamans donate to National, seeing as they said they voted for Labour?

      • Ross 6.2.1

        From Stuff:

        Scenic Hotel Group founder Earl Hagaman, and wife Lani, have accused Little of using “bully tactics” against them and are considering legal action.

        The Christchurch millionaire made a donation to the National Party during the 2014 election of $101,000. A month later, they won a tender to manage the Matavai resort in Niue, which receives funding and governance from the New Zealand Government.

        So the awarding of the contract came after the donation was made. We need better right wing trolls.

      • McFlock 6.2.2

        I’m not sure it is irrelevant: a regular donor getting a contract is one shade of bad, a substantial donation being made while a soon-to-be-successful tender is under consideration is another shade of dodgy…

      • Roflcopter 6.2.3

        And why did the Hagamans donate to National, seeing as they said they voted for Labour?

        Posts like yours, and the original authors’, make it plainly obvious.

      • ianmac 6.2.4

        Ross: Hagarman donated to Labour but only for the Roger Douglas years. He is not a Labour supporter by any stretch!

        • Anne 6.2.4.1

          In other words, Haggard man donated to Roger Douglas and co. – not the Labour Party.

          • leftie 6.2.4.1.1

            So that makes it over 30 years ago!! So Haggard man is not a donor to the Labour party.

        • mickysavage 6.2.4.2

          I was embarrassed in 1987 when Labour almost won Remuera. It made me think that the government’s direction was very wrong. My membership lapsed shortly afterwards.

    • Expat 6.3

      Roflcopter

      “… never mind that the contract itself had started negotiations 6 months prior to the donation… oops!”

      Yeah, and those negotiations were centred around the size of the donation, once agreed upon and received, the Govt proceeded with awarding the contract, or at least, this looks like what has happened.

      • Roflcopter 6.3.1

        Yeah, and those negotiations were centred around the size of the donation, once agreed upon and received, the Govt proceeded with awarding the contract, or at least, this looks like what has happened.

        The Gov’t had nothing to do with the awarding of the contract, and the donation was well after it was all concluded… l2r

  7. Magisterium 7

    Don’t worry, National wants to keep this clusterfuck in the public eye for as long as humanly possible. There is no positive outcome here for Labour.

    • McGrath 7.1

      Totally agree! The thought of Ardern’s dad being on oath in an investigation, and Little being sued for defamation is one that will have National praying for.

    • leftie 7.2

      Then why are National supporters in such a panic? On the back of John key using a tax haven, the increasingly long list of corrupt dodgy deals under his regime, despite the spin, I think there is no positive outcome here for National.

      • Magisterium 7.2.1

        This will get drawn out for as long as possible. Today it’s “former Labour voters Earl and Lani Hagaman are considering legal action over Labour leader Andrew Little’s claims”. Tomorrow it will be “NZ High Commissioner shocked that Labour leader has accused him of corruption”. Then it will be “Labour frontbench MP Jacinda Ardern, often mentioned as a potential future leader, refused to comment when asked if Andrew Little had her support in his accusations against her father”. Then it will be something else, and something else, until Labour fucks something else up. Which it will, because Labour.

        • leftie 7.2.1.1

          If anything Magisterium, its National who has F up once again. Despite the spin, the longer its in the news, the longer National’s dirty deals and corruption will be exposed to the public. Not a good look. It is of no surprise then, how the Panama papers and John key’s links to tax havens is being largely ignored and buried by NZ’s msm. If this had of occurred with any other party in government like Labour for instance, the msm would be relentlessly baying for blood every day until the government was forced out.

          • Magisterium 7.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, the frequency with which the names “John Key” and “New Zealand” occur in the leaked papers is truly staggering.

            • McFlock 7.2.1.1.1.1

              wasn’t it something like 60,000 times for “New Zealand”?

              • leftie

                Yes, and 60,000 times is truly staggering. The righties are tripping over themselves now.

                • Magisterium

                  Divided by 11.5 million documents, that’s not getting mentioned at all.

                  • McFlock

                    Actually, it’s getting mentioned 60,000 times.

                    But if you want to look at proportions, the five million Stratfor documents had only 8200 mentions of New Zealand, and that was in a dedicated geopolitical intel service. And yet a tax haven company mentions us at a much higher rate than a global intelligence company that would be following developments in the south pacific.

                  • leftie

                    rofl Magisterium, desperate much?

      • Reddelusion 7.2.2

        Where terrified leftie as labour go from one cluster ….. to another

        • leftie 7.2.2.1

          Its National going from one cluster ….. to another. More of National’s dirty deals hitting the headlines again… I can see why you sound terribly worried Reddelusion.

  8. ankerawshark 8

    TV1 news last night ran the story of the Hagman’s looking into legal action to sue Andrew Little……….surely someone who is looking into legal action is the most important news story of the day. And they emphasized that they were Labour party voters. This makes it look even more dodgy imo. They donate to a party they don’t or haven’t supported and then get the contract!

  9. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 9

    Who knew about the donations, when did they know, and were they involved in awarding the contract?

    These are the questions.

    They should be answered. But there is nothing, so far, to suggest anything untoward has happened. McCully didn’t award the contract. McCully would have had to bought off the board who made the decision. And they were appointed by, among others, Jacinda’s dad.

    • leftie 9.1

      The board was appointed by McCully Gormless fool.

      • Eyre 9.1.1

        Sorry you’re wrong. The board was appointed by the trustees.

        • Nessalt 9.1.1.1

          and the trustees play golf with the guy who played golf with mccully last weekend and saw JK from a distance straight after that to get their instructions. duurrrrrr!

          • Roflcopter 9.1.1.1.1

            Wait, i’m sure we can slip in something about “Chinese sounding names” in there as well 🙂

            • leftie 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Like John key did when he raised money from Chinese sounding names to game his flag referendum in his favour?

              Thank you Roflcopter for reminding everyone of another dirty, dodgy, corrupt act by John key.

          • leftie 9.1.1.1.2

            yep Lol something like that !!

        • leftie 9.1.1.2

          Apparently not wrong Eyre. McCully appointed the board, and its a clear case of National shoulder tapping one of its big donors for a multi million dollar government contract.

          “The Niue Tourism Property Trust, whose trustees are appointed by Mr McCully, carried out what the minister said was a fully commercial process to find a company to run the resort.”

          Call for inquiry into Niue resort contract

          <a href="http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/301746/call-for-inquiry-into-resort-contract

          • ChuckNZ 9.1.1.2.1

            The trustees were appointed by McCully, then the trustees appointed the board who negotiated the contract, so McCully did not appoint the board

            • leftie 9.1.1.2.1.1

              If you think McCully had no input in that you are deluded.

              • Ian H

                If you think McCully had enough control over all the other people in that two steps remove process to pervert it without anyone else calling foul then I’d say you are the deluded one.

  10. Repateet 10

    “Dirty Politics Farrar.” Dirty Politics Farrar. Dirty Politics Farrar.

    The triumph in his ‘Little in big trouble’ article is not that anyone with half a brain can see the sophistry in it but that anyone but a Wellington dweeb can keep writing such tripe and think it has any more intellectual merit than a treatise on ‘Rugby scrummaging in Riverton in July’ written by a left-handed soccer player from Jamaica who’d never seen rugby.

  11. Shifty 11

    If no wrongdoing then why so much fuss? I understand the indignity that the Hagaman’s have a right to claim, but if nothing to hide then let the outcomes of the investigation speak for itself? I would have thought that such an investigation would be SOP anyway.

    • McFlock 11.1

      “Nothing to fear, nothing to hide” only counts when tories use it against the people, not the other way around…

  12. Observer (Tokoroa) 12

    .Spilt beans and Stupidity.

    . The Nats have their big guns out on this little funding playette. They absolutely positively do not want the miraculous Pacific Resort to go before an Auditor.

    Not even the main stream crowd wants to give it air.

    All the usual protectors of the dodgy nat palace, are out with boots on, kicking the guts out of Mr Little’s request for an investigation of the ‘miracle’ funding.

    Colonial Viper that wide ranging sprayer of constant stupidity, has even joined the Hooton rabble. They can have him lock stock and demented.

    Why has a simple request from the very credible Andrew Little caused such a flurry in the National bunker?

    The tax payer respectfully wants to know.

    • Chuck 12.1

      Oh my…Observer you do understand your Mr. Little did a lot more than “a simple request” for AG to investigate?? he smeared all involved by saying “it stinks to high heaven”. Which was so stupid on many levels…he could of at least checked out who the trustee’s where before hand!!

      Worst possible outcome for Mr. Little were if indeed the AG investigated…think about that for a second or two.

      • joe90 12.1.1

        he could of at least checked out who the trustee’s where before hand!!

        Do you think he would’ve ignored McCully’s alleged corruption had he known who the trustees were…..

        • McFlock 12.1.1.1

          that’s what would happen on planet key 🙂

        • leftie 12.1.1.2

          No Joe, in all conscience, Andrew Little wouldnt have ignored it, and would have said exactly what he has already said on the matter.

        • Chuck 12.1.1.3

          joe90, Without any doubt Andrew Little would have toned down his trash talk of smearing everyone involved for a cheap political headline (if he knew of the Arden link). Little instead would of simply asked for the AG to have a look…and kept the high ground.

          Instead he has handed National an early Xmas present.

          • joe90 12.1.1.3.1

            So you know what Little thinks too, must be some damn flash chicken innards you’re reading there sport.
            /

            • Chuck 12.1.1.3.1.1

              No, its called common sense…and having some decent support (research) in the Labour back office!!

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                One tiny question: the source that supports your false narrative: who has Little bagged other than Murray McCully and the National Party? They’re the ones with the conflict of interest.

                • Chuck

                  To spell it out for you…in order for McCully / National to have “rigged” the open tender they required the assistance of the actual decision makers to propel Scenic Hotels to number 1 (assuming their tender was not the best option)…not to mention the implied expectations of the Hagamans that a donation was required to secure the tender rights.

                  In other words Little has bagged a whole lot of people by going full retard.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Or perhaps they just required the minister’s ear. That seems far more likely: McCully corrupts everything he touches, and always has.

    • leftie 12.2

      +100 Observer (Tokoroa).

    • Instauration 12.3

      Yep – saw a horribly partisan construction on TVNZ breakfast this morning.
      Hair flicking and fluent body language exponent Claire Robinson confirmed all Christie’s scripted assertions of Little inadequacy – Protector View furnished – Tick.

  13. upnorth 14

    I think this one is going to turn bad for Andrew

    Investigation will clear everyone that leaves Andrew totally exposed

    I am really sorry but Ardern will not take this lying down or the other trustees.

    personally I wouldn’t – Andrew needs to prove all were involved. I am sorry but I personally think Andrew got set up here.

    Snapper anyone?

    • leftie 14.1

      You wish. The righties are in a spin, desperately trying to defend the indefensible Key National government.

    • joe90 14.2

      Investigation will clear everyone that leaves Andrew totally exposed

      How do you know the Investigation will clear everyone, your magic eightball, tea leaves, chicken innards….?

      • James 14.2.1

        How do you know it wont. Any evidence provided by anyone as yet….nope thought not.

        A complete lack of evidence to back up his accusations does not a strong case make.

        • joe90 14.2.1.1

          There’s smoke, a month after a substantial donation the donor is awarded a multi-million dollar contract, and McCully has form doing dodgy shit, and the across the board hosing down makes it look like there could be fire.

          Best the AG investigate.

        • McFlock 14.2.1.2

          lol

          Then you guys have nothing to fear from an investigation which will exonerate McCully and humiliate Labour, right? Or do you?

    • leftie 14.3

      UpNorth. How do you know the Investigation will clear everyone? Are you suggesting that any investigation will be a sham and whitewash like the others that have been conducted involving National and their cronies?

    • Stuart Munro 14.4

      What bullshit.

      It looks like corruption – parliament should clear it up, not cover it up.

      Andrew doesn’t have to prove a thing – Nuie needs sunlight.

      If everything is above board, wonderful – but this is Murray ‘flying sheep’ McCully we’re talking about – dirty deeds done at enormous public expense.

      We should just tell China we don’t want Key back – he makes Liu look like Mr Clean. They don’t fuck around with corrupt officials in China.

      • James 14.4.1

        “Andrew doesn’t have to prove a thing – Nuie needs sunlight.”

        Actually he does.

        He needs to prove his smears have at least a ring of truth to them. At the moment – he has nothing.

        No a single bit of evidence – yet he has pulled people into it trying to paint it as corruption – which is what a lot on here believe.

        If you are going to throw things like that out there – you have to be willing to back them up. He cannot.

        and thats why he seems like a dog barking at a passing bus, not a PM in waiting (which is what TV1 were saying).

        • One Anonymous Bloke 14.4.1.1

          What “smear”? Having a conflict of interest isn’t a problem unless you handle it poorly: we all have them. By contrast, Murray McCully acts as though he doesn’t understand the concept at all.

          If the National Party doesn’t sell government policies to its donors, why is it so important for Cabinet Club members to have access to ministers of the Crown, and why does Blabbermouth Lusk describe the process?

          Why did the lying Prime Minister need to have back-room meetings about the Skysore at which no notes were taken, unless the plan was to ratfuck the other companies bidding for the contract? Why do you think McCully would suddenly discover ethics when his Daddy sets such a piss-poor example?

          • Reddelusion 14.4.1.1.1

            One big leftie yawn on top of the last big leftie conspiracy yawn, If OAB donated a dollar for every post he used the word lier we could end world poverty

            • mpledger 14.4.1.1.1.1

              The RWNJs are on to personal attacks as diversion.

              There must be a lot of dirt they are trying to smear over anyone they can.

        • framu 14.4.1.2

          the bit your forgetting james is that MPs have to not only be above board, but be seen to be above board

          even the perception of unethical behaviour isnt allowed in govt – and yes that applies to who ever is in govt

          this isnt a court of law – its govt, and that comes with different (and hopefully stricter) rules

          so unless youve got a rock solid way to explain away even the perception this isnt above board the correct action is to investigate and put the matter to rest.

          or we can play silly games and avoid the actual possibility of dodgy deals. Sure, Little could be wrong here, but are we really going to act all coy and pretend we dont know how such “scratch my back..” deals work? Its not a new way of getting things done is it now

          • One Anonymous Bloke 14.4.1.2.1

            Nah. None of that works: get the money out of politics. The National Party can only openly sell Ministerial access because they can pretend the laundered money is political donations. Lusk describes the process by which their MPs personally benefit.

            All of it is untraceable. That’s why perception is central in conflicts of interest: it’s not like McCully is suddenly going to grow a personal responsibility and ‘fess up, is it?

            • seeker 14.4.1.2.1.1

              In Britain in 1832 they had Parliamentary Reform which got rid of rotten boroughs. Now we desperately need similar reform to get rid of rotten MPs and PMs.

          • Reddelusion 14.4.1.2.2

            Does that mean any tinpot half assed masquerading as an opposition leader can spurt any old crap, no evidence and the world must stop for an offical enquiry Even when that half assed leader of a dying party with 7pc approval has a history of crying wolf and talking absolute rubbish, In his own words he needs cut the crap and grow up metaphorically and physically( he is far to short to lead nz) and realise he is not running a tin pot bother boy Union any more but but trying convince more than 7pc of population he can be PM or at least win an electorate seat

            • Pat 14.4.1.2.2.1

              lets see…short,dodgy, serial liar with a hair fetish v short,realist who needs some media training……tough choice

              • Reddelusion

                Well over last 3 terms the choice has been rather easy and so will the fourth term if Mr 7pc keeps going the way he is going

            • framu 14.4.1.2.2.2

              no you idiot – it means that MPs must be seen to be acting above board at all times. And when it appears they arent they have broken the rules of govt business – by default

  14. Sirenia 15

    Wasn’t it something about tourism that got McCully into trouble in the 1990s? He is not known for ethical transparency.

  15. Muttonbird 16

    There needs to be an investigation into Hagaman’s hair.

    Specifically, were any animals harmed in the the making of it?

    • McFlock 16.1

      Obviously particularly rich folks like him and trump go hunting for their own wigs at game reserves that specialise in genetically-engineered versions of Dr Seuss characters.

      You thought they’re bad wigs sold to the vain? Nope, they’re hunting trophies that double as secret handshakes for members of the Illuminati.

      • Gangnam Style 16.1.1

        Great piece of jonolism here “He appears in the doorway, tall and thin with a thick pelt of dark hair. ”

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/christchurch-life/9725378/Hagamans-building-an-empire

        • ianmac 16.1.1.1

          Being born in 1925 Mr Hagaman must be 91.

          • Michael 16.1.1.1.1

            I think that’s about right, ianmac. AFAIR, Mrs H is much, much younger than her spouse. The couple’s business dealings are familiar to mainlanders, such as the tale of the Dunedin Stadium (aka “the White Elephant”). By pure coincidence, the Hagamans (or entitites under their control) just happened to purchase some industrial land in Dunedin a few years before the Sradium build (and location) was announced. When the matters were announced, the good ratepayers of Dunedin were overjoyed to pay the Hagamans for their Title to possess the land without which the Stadium could not be built (in consideration for which current market value was paid, a figure that had, again by happy coincidence, increased in value between purchase and sale, in accordance with the laws of the free market). For the avoidance of doubt, I should make it clear that absolutely no evidence of illegality surrounding these transactions has ever been established.

  16. Onesie 17

    I like how ‘not worried’ all these righties are, so ‘not worried’ that they spend their evenings reading & commenting on left wing blogs! I can think of other better things to do but hey, whatever rocks your boat.

    When are the Hagamans serving papers? Do they really want to expose their deals in an open court? Nah, didn’t think so (happy to be proved wrong!).

  17. doug stuart 18

    If Andrew keeps barking at buses the next poll will be National 55% Labour under 25%

    • leftie 18.1

      Doug, then you’ll know the opinion polls are rigged. You’ve been reading too many rw troll sites.

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