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”.
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?