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Huka Lodge: Winston lies and pushes racism

Huka Lodge is not for sale to the Chinese, and its current owner is already a non-NZ resident - albeit Dutch rather than Chinese.

The Herald reports:

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has claimed the world-famous Huka Lodge near Taupo has been sold to Chinese buyers and suggested Prime Minister John Key had a hand in smoothing the process.

Mr Peters made the claim during his state of the nation address on Auckland’s North Shore this afternoon.

“While you’re here media, let me tell you something, Huka Lodge has just been sold to the Chinese … and I want you to go and ask John Key what role you had in this?

“Was it not true, Mr Key, that you assured them `there won’t be a problem, we’ll smooth it out for you’.”

But Winston lied.

Outraegously, as TV3's Brook Sabin pointed out:

Any other political leader who made up a claim like this, and just flat out lied, would be crucified by the media.

But Winston gets away with it. He lied that it had been sold. He lied that it was on the market, and he lied that the PM was involved.

Just as bad, he is doing his normal anti-Asian racism. I understand the current owner was born in Holland. Even if the sale was true, why is it okay for someone born in Holland to own Huka Lodge, but not someone born in China? It's racism.

Huka Lodge is owned by a Dutch company on behalf of Alex van Heeren who is the honorary counsel for East and West Flanders and Antwerp and a former Dutch honorary counsel to New Zealand. He is not a New Zealander, but a foreign businessman who spends most of his time abroad.

When Huka Lodge was sold to van Heeren (under Labour in 2003), did Peters say a word aboutt foreign investment or ownership?


Then he invents a story abour it being sold to Chinese investors, with the clear message that this would be wrong and evil. His message isn’t that foreign ownership is bad. His message is that it is okay for white foreigners to own assets in New Zealand, but awful if Asian foreigners buy things.

It is racism pure and simple. It is designed to whip up hostility to people who look Asian, regardless of whether or not they are foreigners or New Zealand born. The message it sends is if you are an Asian New Zealander, you are a second class citizen.

Stuff reports Winston won't back down:

Afterwards he cited real estate sources for his comments. “My informant says John Key has said to these people: ‘Don’t worry about it, we’ll smooth it through the Overseas Investment Office’.”

If any politician should be suing for defamation, it should be John Key.

Later, Peters modified his claim to say the lodge was for sale.

First of all he claimed explicitly it had been sold. With that proven to be a lie, he does not apologise or retract. He invents a new lie. The owners of Huka Lodge have clearly said it is not on the market.

One could give Peters some benefit of the doubt that he believed the so called informant and is just so lazy and unconcerned with the truth, that he repeated an unproven allegation as fact because that’s the sort of politician he his. That’s the best case scenario. But now when confronted with the fact that it has not been sold, and the owner says it is not for sale, he chooses to maintain the lie, and amend it, rather than accept he said something false.

It’s the same behaviour as with the Owen Glenn donation. The evidence before the Privileges Committee proved beyond any doubt he lied dozens of times, yet he still insists he didn’t.

“The Overseas Investment Office has spoken to Huka Lodge director and shareholder David McGregor, and he has confirmed no sale has been made or is being considered,” Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson said, not long after Mr Key’s office said the prime minister would never become involved in OIO applications even if one were in train.

Huka Lodge director of global sales and marketing Louise Smythe rejected the claim.

“None of it is true, no,” she said.

But Peters was unrepentant last night, accusing the OIO of having become a “political pawn”.

A pawn in a sale that only exists with the help of drugs or alcohol.

Such was the paperwork involved, the OIO may not know the status of the sale, Peters said.

“It’s for sale.”

So is Peters saying the owner is a liar, or saying that somehow you can sell something without the owner knowing anything about it?

I’m not one of those who says the media should not report on Peters, because they have to. But what the media can do is say this case proves that they should only report on opinions of Peters, but if Peters in future states something as a fact (such as WINZ has a fleet of BMWs, or Huka Lodge has been sold to the Chinese) they should not print the alleged fact until they have verified it. And if the fact is untrue, then don’t give his lies media space. He knows that 5% of the population will believe a lie if he tells it. It’s the old saying you can fool some of the population, all of the time.

Political commentator David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog.


Comments and questions

Apparently someone at Huka Lodge ordered a Chinese take-away, and Winston got confused when he heard about it.

Winnie needs to pipe down.

Decrepitude affects us all as we age, but where is the new blood in NZ First? There was that guy who was terrorised by even the prospect that he might encounter a niqab or burqa- a form of headgear far more terrifying than a balaclava or motorcycle helmet, but who are the rest of them? Do they all believe that the Huka Lodge was sold to Chinese interests and that that would be a bad thing for the Huka Lodge? Or have they been silenced because any one of them, even the hat fetishist, would now outshine their leader.

When most reliable sources are no longer....NZ First Leader Mr PETERS must be pretty embarrassed, looking good and going nowhere.

Winston is smarter than all the other politicians put together - politically that is - the rest are pure boys in a mans game

The Chinese won't be offended as most know he is just scoring votes from the bigoted. Chinese integrate well into NZ and immediately form political affiliations - so they know what Winston is like.

He is though spot on re the Maori Treaty rort and that normal Maori outside of the leaders are not seeing any progress or benefits from the settlements. The worst being Ngai Tahu and Tainui who now both have $1B in assets and their members see very little in any shape or form - that's 15 years after their settlement.

I suppose you won't report on those comments as it will score points against Nationals partner the Maori party - which should be renamed Losers incorporated or Te Pake

Didn't Winston's new BFF, Dotcom, recently stay at Huka? Dots to be joined??

TV3 to its credit took Winston to task over his lies but the other media sources have not even bothered to follow up properly their initial 'sensational' expose - so much for the fourth estate!

Incorrect. Multiple media outlets called out Winston within hours. See the links in David's article above.

That won't make much difference to NZ First supporters, of course. They want to believe.

And most in his 5% to 7% MMP target group won't have any issue with the hypocrisy of Peters saying nothing when Huka Lodge was sold to Dutch interests, but being outraged when a (phantom) Chinese buyer emerges. He knows his base.

Yes Winston does know his constituency, and the media. Pointless questioning his myopic constituency, but why does the media give what are clearly falsehoods (dare I say bare faced lies..?) airtime?

Because he's not at the margins. His party has 8 MPs in this Parliament, and he could well play kingmaker in the next.

His behaviour now weighs on whether National (or Labour/Greens) will be be able to stomach working with him after the election, so it's worth reporting on.

Just you wait. Huka lodge will be sold eventually, maybe in 10 years. Then Winston will be vindicated, and all the knockers will be feasting on humble pie.......Winston is an Oracle !

But he is already vindicated - because Huka Lodge was sold over a decade ago!

Or is he just waking up from his slumber from the 1950s and NZ's white only policy?

Even if the Chow brothers did buy Hooker Lodge in 10 years time, that would not vindicate Peters. He is wrong now; a sale in a decade does not make his statement today correct. He has made one of the biggest mistakes of his career.

Winston has been fishing and landed another catch.It reassured his followers and caught a lot of others who liked hearing it.Never mind it might have got away.

"Just as bad, he is doing his normal anti-Asian racism. I understand the current owner was born in Holland. Even if the sale was true, why is it okay for someone born in Holland to own Huka Lodge, but not someone born in China? It's racism." - of course it is racism!!

It is election year and the snake oil salesman Winnie is back to his election mode - bash the Asians to get votes And there are hordes of suckers who will believe him.

Winnie would never retire with grace.

Opposition to sale of land to Chinese interests is not necessarily racism. It could be anti-communism.

After all if this was the 1930's, and Peters was opposing a sale to Germans, I suspect that you would support a ban on land sales to "Nazis".

All Chinese are communist?

Just as all Pakeha are racists, right?

Winstons so called speech should have been called " The State of My Mental Health".

It's premature and silly to say that Winston lied. he isn't stupid. Why would he lie, knowing he would be caught out?

There's more going on behind the scenes here than we have a chance of knowing.

Moreover, why is the OIO actually forbidden to consider the downsides, to NZers of foreigner buying our land? Fact. They call it "we have no mandate to do so..."

Why not?!! This is the real scandal. A downright lazy, palpably biased anti-Peters agenda and our government with an anti New Zealanders agenda.

Close Winnie but no cigar sorry - you got the wrong island !

Even if it were true, why would it matter?

The current owner is Dutch, and plus the other best luxury lodges
in NZ are owned by Americans...Blanket Bay, Cape Kidnnapers, Matakauri etc