Andrew Little served with defamation proceedings

  • 15/06/2016
Labour Party leader Andrew Little (Simon Wong, file)
Labour Party leader Andrew Little (Simon Wong, file)

Business couple Earl and Lani Hagaman say they've started defamation proceedings against Labour leader Andrew Little.

"We will now clear our names in court," they said in a statement today.

"The proceedings have now been served on Mr Little."

It was revealed in April that Earl Hagaman, chairman of Scenic Hotels, made a $100,000 donation to the National Party in 2014, a month before his company was awarded a contract to run Niue's Matavai luxury resort.

The resort is heavily funded by the New Zealand Government and is owned by a trust on behalf of Niue's government.

At the time, Mr Little questioned the timing of the donation and the awarding of the contract, and called on the Auditor-General to investigate.

Earl and Lani Hagaman asked for an apology and gave him a deadline.

He didn't apologise by the deadline, saying he had told them he had a constitutional duty to challenge the actions of the Government over the expenditure of public funds.

He said he would address the issues raised by the Hagamans once the auditor-general had dealt with the referral, either by concluding an investigation or declining to hold one.

The Hagamans say they're not going to make any further comment.