Little’s Niue allegations full of ‘fertiliser’ – Hagaman
Rich Lister Lani Hagaman has come out swinging in response to allegations by Labour leader Andrew Little.
Mr Little has claimed the awarding of the management contract for the Matavai Resort Niue to the Scenic Hotel Group founded by Mrs Hagaman and her husband Earl “stinks to high heaven” because of a donation Mr Hagaman made to the National Party during the tender process.
He has also publicly called for the Auditor-General to investigate whether the $100,000-plus donation improperly influenced the decision to award the contract to manage the hotel, which has since received a $7.5 million upgrade courtesy of New Zealand taxpayers.
In a blistering response, Mrs Hagaman says the couple welcomes any investigation the Auditor-General may undertake.
“In fact, we request that an investigation occurs urgently to remove any doubt about the integrity and honesty of our name,” she says.
Mrs Hagaman says she and her husband are “not interested in being Mr Little’s political football” and characterises his allegations as “totally false and unfounded,” not to mention “nasty.”
Urging Mr Little to “stop wasting taxpayer money on trying to promote his own political party and ego,” Mrs Hagaman also refers to the freedom to vote for or donate to any political party as “one of the privileges of being a New Zealander.”
“In the past both Earl and I have voted Labour,” she says, “but that was when the party had strong morals and direction and did not practise bully tactics on innocent people.”
She says they are considering “legal options to redress these unfounded accusations.”
Emphasising that the management contract for the resort was won “in an open and contestable process alongside a number of other hotel groups,” Mrs Hagaman says she “can assure the public that for us the only thing that will ‘stink to the high heavens’ will be smell of roses which blossom from the fertiliser Andrew Little likes to spread around to gain his own notoriety.”