Labour seeks inquiry into Niue hotel contract
Labour says there are question 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."
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.
"Scenic Hotel was appointed as the managers after an international competitive process... this is something that was done on a purely commercial basis, no involvement from me or my office."
Mr McCully says he didn't know Mr Hagaman was a National Party donor, and if he had it wouldn't have influenced any decisions.
Newshub. / NZN