Sabin-linked luxury resort goes to ground over new CEO

Former National MP Mike Sabin has been appointed as chief executive officer of Magnificent Jade, which oversees the New Zealand-based assets of Chinese real estate developer Shanghai CRED.

In 2013, Shanghai CRED bought Northland’s luxurious Peppers Carrington Resort for a sum understood to be almost $29 million. It was reported on NBR ONLINE and other media earlier this week that Mr Sabin had been appointed chief executive officer of the resort.

However, the Mantra Group, which operates the resort under the Peppers luxury resort brand, has since confirmed that Mr Sabin has not or is not an employee of Peppers, and that Peppers was not consulted on the appointment.

The former Northland MP is understood to have been under investigation by Waitemata police since late last year. He resigned from parliament on January 30 in mysterious circumstances that the National party described as “personal issues that were best dealt with outside Parliament.”

The Northland MP, 46, had been in Parliament since 2011 and served as a police officer in Northland before 2006. His resignation triggered a by-election that was won last month by NZ First leader Winston Peters.

According to its website, Peppers Carrington Resort is a “luxury 3000-acre estate on the Karikari Peninsula […] located on four breathtaking kilometres of secluded white sand coastline, with an oceanside 18-hole championship golf course and 900 acres of restored wetlands.”

In 2012, Peppers added the then Carrington Resort to its network.

According to a Shanghai CRED media release in 2013, its company was formed in 1999 and is one of the largest real estate developers in Shanghai. It intends to promote Peppers Carrington resort to high-income Chinese tourists, as well as other international tourists and New Zealanders.

It is understood that Shanghai CRED is planning to upscale Peppers Carrington Resort into the largest five star resort in New Zealand and Mr Sabin’s appointment as chief executive of Magnificent Jade is central to this development.

(note: this article has been updated to reflect that Mr Sabin is CEO of Magnificent Jade, and not Peppers Carrington Resort)

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